Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

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
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611)
Lectio secunda ad matutinum [3:21]
Missa pro defunctis [24:53]
Motectum: Versa est in luctum [3:11]
Absolutio: Libra me [7:48]
O Domine Iesu Christe [2:30]
Domine, non sum dignus [2:44]
Salve Regina [7:15]
Vadam et circubio civitatem [7:05]
Collegium Vocale Ghent/Philippe Herreweghe
rec. no details supplied
PHI 005 [59:40]

Experience Classicsonline



Philippe Herreweghe doesn’t often venture into the Renaissance repertoire these days. That’s a great shame as he evidently has a natural affinity for this music. He also has a choir with the rare ability to combine grace with conviction, and to articulate with the utmost clarity, yet without ever disturbing the flow. The result here is a Victoria recording as fine as any, and one that makes the very best use of modern recording technology to capture both the detail and the atmosphere of these excellent performances. 

The central work on the programme is Victoria’s Officium Defunctorum, a Requiem setting from the days before the genre was firmly established under that name. The opening track, Lectio secunda ad matutinm, is taken from the same 1605 publication as the mass, and serves here as a prelude. It’s not very exciting, a simple homophonic setting, which demonstrates the precision of the choir’s ensemble, but doesn’t give much of an idea of what is to follow. When the mass itself begins in the second track, we are transported into another world, with Victoria’s contrapuntal intricacies surrounding us in the expansive stereo soundscape. The choir is actually relatively small, never larger than 12 singers, as is the venue. The singers’ projection, and the accuracy of their tuning and ensemble, ensure an attractively round and warm sound for all of Victoria’s textures. The choir is mixed, with female sopranos and counter-tenors on the alto lines. That does feel like a little bit of a compromise, although it is hardly unusual. Two sopranos sing the plainchant introductions and occasionally sound strained, at least in comparison with the tuttis that follow.
 
Herreweghe uses gradual increments in the dynamics to shape both the phrases and, to a certain extent, the movements too. That’s on top of variable dynamics within the ensemble to bring out the middle and lower parts. No doubt that is a tricky juggling act, but it never feels contrived. Neither do the tempos, which are occasionally brisk, but never excessively so.
 
The programme concludes with four of Victoria’s Motets. As the liner-note points out, Victoria’s reputation is based largely on his funereal music, so it is no bad thing to redress the balance with some of his more upbeat works. These Motets aren’t exactly joyous, but the mixed emotions that they express do at least move the music out of the gloom (glorious as it is) that most of us consider typical Victoria. Like the mass, most of these motets are in six parts, and they are of a similar level of density and complexity. Unlike in the mass, the counterpoint here is not based on fixed patterns from plainchant, allowing Victoria a great deal more flexibility in his melodic contours.
 
There is always a danger with Renaissance polyphony that it all blends into one, but the coupling on this disc makes the contrasts between the different aspects of Victoria’s work as explicit as possible. The clarity of the sung texts also helps remind even the most casual listener of the music’s original context.
 
I have recently been listening to recordings of Victoria from the Tallis Scholars and the Choir of Westminster Cathedral. This recording sits somewhere between those two poles, but draws on the best of both. It has all the atmosphere and depth of tone that the Westminster choristers can produce, but it also has the clarity of line and word that we hear from the Tallis Scholars. Even though Herreweghe and his choir don’t go to either of these extremes, they still give a distinctive interpretation that’s as good as any of their rivals.

Gavin Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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






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.