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  • Josquin Desprez: Stabat Mater, Motets
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Josquin Desprez: Stabat Mater, Motets Import


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Audio CD, Import, April 27, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 27, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi, U.S.A.
  • ASIN: B00000076F
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,962 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Motets: Ave Maria
2. Motets: Stabat mater dolorosa
3. Motets: Salve Regina
4. Motets: Ave nobilissima creatura
5. Motets: O bone et dulcissime Jesu
6. Motets: Usquequo, Domine, oblivisceris me
7. Motets: Miserere mei, Deus

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The Mass was for Renaissance composers what the symphony was for 19th-century composers--the most respected and prestigious musical form. One result of this is that today, most recordings devoted to specific Renaissance composers (as opposed to anthologies) concentrate on Masses, with perhaps a few motets thrown in on the side. Here Harmonia Mundi features nine of Josquin's finest motets, including the limpid Ave Maria/Virgo serena (something of a Renaissance warhorse), Stabat Mater (surprisingly serene for a text about Mary weeping at the foot of the Cross), and the sublime Miserere mei, Deus, a setting of the penitential Psalm 51 for Holy Week built around the tenor voice intoning "miserere mei, Deus" ("have mercy on me, O God") on each note of the scale in succession. Philippe Herreweghe is best known these days for his Bach and Beethoven, but he has a wonderful way with Renaissance music as well. The Paris-based La Chapelle Royale makes a clear, lean sound--somewhat cooler than that of Herreweghe's Belgian choir Collegium Vocale, yet well-suited to Josquin's lucid part-writing. --Matthew Westphal

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 8, 2001
This is one of those rare CDs that I can put on in the morning, and play for the rest of the day...it has simplicity, grace, and majesty all on one disc. I love it for listening, or for background music...it surrounds me with peace and serenity, and is also a wonderful CD for meditation.
This performance by Philippe Herreweghe of these beautiful 16th century motets is impeccable...and the sound is great. It's hard to pick any favorites out of these 7 pieces, as they blend one to the other in one stream of transcendant music.
The enclosed booklet has the words to these sacred works in Latin, and an explanation of the music in 3 languages, though I found the English (a translation from the French), impossible to understand ! The cover painting by the 14th century artist Simone Martini is the perfect complement to this exquisite CD, one of my most treasured, and most often played.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Duke on June 20, 2003
I must agree with the previous reviewers whose elaborate praise I need not repeat here. The intonation is flawless, the tempi and the mood could not be more perfectly suitable to the pieces sung. One of the most beautiful aspects of this recording is that it allows - or rather begs - the listener to hear the words as they are being sung and to comprehend them in the context of the music - a quality that is sorely lacking in other renaissance recordings. This is delightfully obvious throughout Stabat Mater (which stands out here as perhaps the most pleasing piece on the album along with the marvelous Miserere mei), especially in the 18th stanza where Mary is invoked to protect the faithful against the consuming fires on the Day of Judgement. The words are sung in perfect clarity, as Josquin here blatantly intended: 'Inflammatus et accensus, per te, Virgo, sim defensus in die iudicii'. Only the text included in the CD pamphlet reads 'Flammis ne urar succensus...etc.'. This of course does not change the stanza's meaning or intention in the least, and does little indeed to detract from the sheer acoustic beauty of the piece. Nevertheless, let the listener be informed that at least three (slightly) different versions of the motet exist. I think it would be nice if recording labels were to avoid such simple and needless discrepencies. If Josquin composed so clearly, if Herreweghe and La chapelle Royale can sing so transparently, then let's frost the cake by allowing this clarity to reach the listener (most of whom are probably unfamiliar to the latin text of this motet. Or perhaps indifferent, but that is another story altogether).
On a positive note, I am sorry that Herreweghe does not record more polyphony from this era.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2000
this recording must have been sent from heaven it is great from beginning to end the voices are brilliant it makes you fell great. truely a must for anyone looking for inspirational music.
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