Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


REVIEW


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS


Mortuus est Philippus Rex – Music for the life and death of the Spanish King
Ambrosio COTES (c.1550-1603)
Mortuus est Philippus Rex [5:34]
Sebastian de VIVANCO (c.1551-1622)
Versa est in luctum [5:47]
Don Fernande de las INFANTAS (1534-c.1610)
Quasi stella matutina [8:18]
Bartolomé de ESCOBEDO (c.1505-1563)
Missa Philippus Rex Hispaniae [30:50]
Alonso LOBO (1555-1617)
Versa est in luctum [4:54]
Libera me, Domine [9:29]
The Choir of Westminster Cathedral/James O’Donnell
rec. February 1998 (unspecified location)
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55248
[65:54]
 
Experience Classicsonline


At first glance this CD looks as though it should contain music commemorating the death of the mighty Spanish monarch, Philip II. But that’s really little more than a hook around which to orientate the pieces chosen here: only three of the works were specifically written to commemorate his death, and the others have in some cases only a loose connection to Philip himself. The disc’s real raison d’être is to showcase the reconstruction of Escobedo’s Missa Philippus Rex Hispaniae. The only surviving manuscript of the mass, written around the time of Philips’ accession to the throne in 1559, is in very poor repair in the library of the Sistine Chapel and it had been deemed indecipherable until the 1998 commemorations for the four hundredth anniversary of Philip’s death sparked scholars into action and a performing version was made. The CD booklet contains a useful note by Anthony Fiumara who produced the edition. So considering that this has connections with Philips’ accession rather than his death, it’s not surprising that it has the brightest mood of all the works on the disc. The Gloria and Credo sections in particular soar to radiant climaxes, and even the Benedictus and Agnus Dei, which begin in minor keys, end up with optimistic endings.
 

Only Cotes’ Mortuus est Philippus Rex and Lobo’s and Vivanco’s Versa est in luctum were expressly written to comemmorate the monarch’s passing and they are suitably large scale lamentations, the Cotes work showing its sorrow through astonishing polyphony, while the Lobo grieves quietly. Even this, though, is trumped by the dark concentration of the final work, Lobo’s Libera me, which has passages of simple plainchant alternating with intensely moving harmonic pleading. Don Fernando de las Infantas’ motet is a lively, swinging motet written to commemorate the royal family’s visit to San Jeronimo el Real in Madrid and it contains passages of great virtuosity and devotional simplicity. 

The performances here could hardly be bettered. This music is helped by using an ecclesiastical choir with boys rather than solely adult males as it takes us closer to the circumstances of each work’s premiere. The recording is helped by the way that O’Donnell seems to make the choir sound as un-English as possible: the control of the melismas and the element of distance to the voices makes the overall sound more ethereal and spiritual than, say, the sound cultivated by the Oxbridge choirs. The acoustic of the location is interesting too: the lack of a cavernous echo makes me doubt that it was recorded in Westminster Cathedral itself, and consequently the sound is closer to the ear but simultaneously deprived of locational specificity. For me it worked very well, giving the best of the ecclesiastical tradition while making it at the same time universal. The control of the long arches of sound is flawless and tuning is spot-on throughout, not always easy when every number is sung unaccompanied.

Simon Thompson

see also Review by Brian Wilson


 
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.