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The Sacred Flame
Giovanni GABRIELI (1557-1612)
Jubilate Deo [5:05]
Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Beatus vir [8:30]
Christe, adoramus te [2:58]
Cantate Domino [1:51]
G. P. DA PALESTRINA (1525-94)
Sicut cervus [3:11]
Exsultate Deo [2:09]
Felice ANERIO (c.1560-1614)
Christus factus est [2:04]
Carlo GESUALDO (c.1561-1613)
O vos omnes [3:33]
Orlande DE LASSUS (1532-94)
Timor et tremor [3:30]
Ave verum Corpus [4:09]
J. P. SWEELINCK (1562-1612)
Laudate Dominum [2:49]
Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637-1707)
Magnificat [8:00]
T. L. DE VICTORIA (1548-1611)
Jesu, dulcis memoria [1:51]
O vos omnes [3:14]
John IV, King of Portugal (1604-56)
Crux fidelis [2:31]
Josquin DESPREZ (c.1440-1521)
Ave Maria [6:02]
H. L. HASSLER (c.1564-1612)
Dixit Maria [2:15]
Heinrich SCHUTZ (1585-1672)
Psalm 100 [4:20]
Selig sind die Toten [4:07]
J. S. BACH (1685-1750)
O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht [4:50]
The Cambridge Singers (Helen Ashby, Kate Ashby, Grace Davidson, Amy Haworth, Rebecca Hickey, Alison Hill, Katy Hill, Louise Kateck, Amy Moore, Amy Wood (sopranos); Emma Ashby, Ruth Clegg, Ruth Gibbins, Eleanor Harries, Carris Jones, Melanie Marshall, Martha McLorinan (altos); Daniel Auchincloss, Ben Breakwell, Ronan Busfield, Thomas Hobbs, Benedict Hymas, Nicholas Todd (tenors); Richard Bannan, Neil Bellingham, Gabriel Crouch, William Dawes, James Holliday, Oliver Hunt, Matthew O'Donovan, Reuben Thomas (basses)).
La Nuova Musica (Hannah Tibell, George Crawford (violins), Emma Alter, Alexandria Lawrence (violas), Graham Walker (cello), Jan Robert Zahourek (violone), Joel Raymond, Sarah Humphreys (oboes and recorders), Mark Williams (organ))/John Rutter
rec. Great Hall of University College School, London, January 2009. DDD
COLLEGIUM COLCD 134 [78:26] 

Experience Classicsonline

This is an attractive disc from Collegium Records with John Rutter, the Cambridge Singers and Nuova Music. It presents European Renaissance and Baroque music composed for the church at the time of the Reformation - a period of far-reaching religious change, which saw church music burgeon with many highly talented composers expressing their faith through their great compositions. It was also a time when secular styles were beginning to be cultivated and more incorporated into traditional church music, thus leading to the production of works of even greater beauty, originality and excitement.

The disc opens with Gabrieli’s Jubilate Deo and features works by a range of composers, from Monteverdi and Orlando de Lassus through to Thomas Luis de Victoria, Hassler and Schutz. Many of the pieces will be familiar to listeners, such as Monteverdi’s well-known Beatus Vir and Josquin’s justly loved motet Ave Maria, which is here sung with a wonderful sense of peace and contentment, and a glowing tranquility. The disc also includes Palestrina’s Exultate Deo, with its brilliant word-painting, Anerio’s somber and beautiful Christus Factus Est, Gesualdo’s dramatic O Vos Omnes, Sweelinck’s colourful and lively Laudate Dominum, Buxtehude’s Magnificat (though his authorship of this work is dubious) and Crux Fidelis - whose attribution to John IV, King of Portugal is, again, uncertain. The disc concludes with Bach’s motet, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, a glorious ending to an excellent disc, full of interest and diversity.

The Cambridge Singers were founded by John Rutter to facilitate recordings of choral works from mediaeval and renaissance times to the present day. They are here joined by the Nuova Music, an early music ensemble under the proficient direction of the counter-tenor David Bates. Together, they produce radiant performances, with confident and assured singing and sensitive, sympathetic accompaniment.

Em Marshall


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