Richard Blackford


75th Birthday Tribute

Nimbus on-line



Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


String Quartet 1 & 2
Pavel Haas Quartet


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


The Best


Vanhal


Francis Pott


Mahler 9 Elder


New Lyrita Release


British Violin and Cello Concertos


Lyrita New Recording


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Ritchie Symphony 4


Mozart concertos

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Plain text for smartphones & printers

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
Altus
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

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Tomás Luis de VICTORIA (1548-1611)
Tenebrae Responsories
Feria V in Coena Domini ad Matutinum in secundo nocturno
Responsorium IV: Amicus meus [3:01]
Responsorium V: Iudas merator pessimus [2:24]
Responsorium VI: Unus ex discipuli meis [4:07]
Feria V in Coena Domini ad Matutinum in tertio nocturno
Responsorium VII: Eram quasi agnus [3:31]
Responsorium VIII: Una hora [3:05]
Responsorium IX: Seniores populi [5:43]
Feria VI in parasceve ad Matutinum in secundo nocturno
Responsorium IV: Tamquam ad latronem [3:42]
Responsorium V: Tenebrae factae sunt [4:22]
Responsorium VI: Animam meam dilectam [8:14]
Feria VI in parasceve ad Matutinum in tertio nocturno
Responsorium VII: Tradiderunt me [2:43]
Responsorium VIII: Iesum tradidit impius [2:55]
Responsorium IX: Caligaverunt oculi mei [6:32]
Sabbato Sancto ad Matutinum in secundo nocturno
Responsorium IV: Recessit pastor noster [3:31]
Responsorium V: O vos omnes [3:04]
Responsorium VI: Ecce quomodo moritus [5:29]
Sabbato Sancto ad Matutinum in tertio nocturno
Responsorium VII: Astiterunt reges [2:10]
Responsorium VIII: Aestimatus sum [2:44]
Responsorium IX: Sepulto Domino [4:41]
Tenebrae/Nigel Short
rec. 28-29 December 2012, St Alban the Martyr, Holborn, London
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD344 [72:01]

Victoria stands out as one of the very finest composers of Renaissance Europe. A man of many talents - he was also a singer, an organist and a priest - he has become widely known for his intensely spiritual music. The Tenebrae Responsories are no exception. Appearing in a book of sacred music published in 1585, they form part of the most complete collection of music for Holy Week - the week before Easter in the Christian calendar - by any leading Renaissance composer.
 
This is not the first recording of Victoria's Tenebrae Responsories. Westminster Cathedral choir did so in 1989, the Tallis Scholars in 1990 and The Sixteen in 1995. On the other hand, this version, from a choir numbering just 13 (4/3/3/3) immediately engaged me. It is not only intimate but also theatrical - something for which Tenebrae is justly celebrated. I was rapidly drawn into it and wanted more. The choir did not fail to deliver and the disc just got better and better.
 
Victoria's sense of text, word-painting and harmony are all very powerful. This is something that is magnified greatly by their performance. The remarkably clear diction ensures that the text is delivered with full force, and I was glued to it from the off. The text is just the beginning of what is just so right about this disc.
 
Each of Victoria's beautifully crafted vocal lines has its own place within Tenebrae's delivery. The choir's sense of ensemble is exceptional, not only ensuring each melodic line comes across in its own right but also allowing the harmony to stay in place effortlessly. Almost like an earthquake-proof building, the movement and freedom in the melodic lines do not damage the integrity of the musical structure. Achieving that balance is difficult indeed but this disc is a textbook example of how to do it right.
 
The choir's sense of blend is unbelievably good too. Everything moves seamlessly and smoothly, just as Renaissance polyphony should. The performance is also nimble throughout with the choir's agility at its peak in the "verso" sections where a semi-chorus sing a section of music, a feature very much typical of the Renaissance era. Delicate but by no means weak, the “verso” sections were particularly poignant.
 
The various emotions of the Tenebrae Responsories were astoundingly articulated. The betrayal, the sense of loss, the anger, the grief and the tragedy - to name but a few - I felt each and every single one. It was devastatingly beautiful.
 
In front of every great choir is a conductor with the remarkable musicality to pull and hold things together. Nigel Short's direction is nothing short of masterful - a skilled singer/director directing excellent singers. This disc presents impeccable music-making and should be in anybody's collection. Amazing.
 
Jake Barlow
www.twitter.com/countertenor_j 

Previous review: Simon Thompson