|Intemarata Des Mater
Magnificat (Octavi toni)
Surrexit pastor bonus
Laboravi in gemitu meo
Ego flos campi
Si ignoras te
Lauda mater ecclesia
Vadam at circiubo
Laudibus in sanctis
Cristobal de Morales
King Joao IV
I would question the use of the word 'masterpiece'. It is an over-used and
abused word. If the truth were known there are very few masterpieces in the
whole history of music and while it is said that many so-called great composers
have written masterpieces a detailed examination of their skill, craftsmanship
and technique may prove otherwise.
The value of this disc is that it gives us a welcome slice of history. As
with music of this period it all sounds very much the same and can become
tedious as a result.What has to be said is that the performances are simply
exquisite. A very lovely sound.
All the music is, however, slow and there is little contrast. But this is
how music of the Latin liturgy was at the time. The technical skill of the
composers is not questioned but, as the sleeve note states, the music is
You should investigate this disc and delight in the music's obvious sincerity.
Seldom is there any emotional content or depth but that could also be said
of a lot of music throughout the centuries.
Whilst I am not in favour of flippancy in church music or worship and deplore
the Pentecostal and charismatic music of the last 50 years or so, I do think
that this renaissance music errs a shade too far the other way.
It reminds me of that wonderful story... .and a true one... .of the conversation
that Sir Hubert Parry had with Sir Charles Villiers Stanford after a performance
of Elgar's Dream Of Gerontius. One remarked, "It stinks of incense."
to which the other replied, "Oh, no, it doesn't. It just stinks."
One can sense the incense and the vast forbidding churches where these
renaissance works would have been heard. I am not sure that the music reflects
the severity of Catholicism of the time or the dignity due to God.
And as for the gem in this disc, it must be the Magnificat by Cristobel
de Morales. It was truly spiritually uplifting. Simply gorgeous