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Salve Regina / Missa Caput

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 2, 1998
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  • Salve Regina / Missa Caput
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Total price: $30.54
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Editorial Reviews

He may not be well-known today, but in his own time (the late 15th century) Jacob Obrecht was nearly as respected a composer as Josquin des Prez himself. (In fact, Obrecht was Josquin's successor at the court of the Duke of Ferrara). Obrecht's music has a wide expressive range, from somber to serene to jubilant, with rhapsodic, often soaring melodies. His sacred pieces tend to be long--the Missa Caput runs 45 minutes, each Salve Regina 15 minutes--and it's easy for performers to lose the music's focus. Yet Summerly always maintains the melodic momentum and shows us the music's sensual beauty as well as its spirituality. On earlier discs the Oxford Camerata has sometimes sounded unpolished and/or uninvolved--a poor man's Tallis Scholars; here they sing with accurate tuning and clear tone, sounding every bit the equals of their higher-priced colleagues. This would be a worthwhile record at full price; at Naxos's budget price it's extraordinary. --Matthew Westphal

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Salve Regina a 4: Salve Regina (4 Voices) 8:09Album Only
  2. Venit ad Petrum: Venit ad Petrum (Mode 8) 2:14$0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Missa Caput: I Kyrie 4:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Missa Caput: II Gloria10:11Album Only
  5. Missa Caput: III Credo10:00Album Only
  6. Missa Caput: IV Sanctus10:43Album Only
  7. Missa Caput: V Agnus Dei10:28Album Only
  8. Salve Regina a 6: Salve Regina (6 Voices)12:41Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 2, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000060C9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a feast for the ear. I know of no other group who have recorded Obrecht with such sensitivity to the sound colors and the emotional intensity of his music. The first track, the four-part Salve regina, is just sublime: there are moments of incredible poignance and intensity here, among the most moving music from the fifteenth century that I've heard. The final track is a Salve regina for six voices, and here the Oxford Camerata really come into their own: the pace is extraordinary slow, but the sonorities are heavenly, and the music reaches peaks of intensity that you seldom hear even in Josquin. For those who would like to know more about Obrecht or about Renaissance music in general, this is probably the ideal introduction. At a price of less than six dollars, it's a bargain.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sator on August 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
J.S. Bach only waited about a century for Mendellsohn to rediscover him for the world. Now five centuries after succumbing to the plague in July of 1505 - probably contracted while ministering to plague victims - Obrecht's time may have come at last. Thanks largely to the research by Rob Wegman, his stature as a composer continues to grow steadily in the eyes of posterity. So much so that there may come a time when we speak of his age as being the age of Obrecht, whereas for now many still see it as the age of Josquin.

Jacob Obrecht (1458 - 1505) was a contemporary of artists such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519) and an older contemporary of Raphael (1483 - 1520) and Michelangelo (1475 - 1564). As a music teacher Obrecht also taught the humanist thinker, Erasmus (1466 - 1536). Obrecht belongs to a generation of composers of the 1400s to early 1500's who Monteverdi later referred to as the Prima Prattica - the artists of the First Practice - who brought the extraordinarily rich polyphonic music of the Renaissance to its peak. Until recently the judgement handed down through the centuries of Josquin as the single outstanding composer of the Prima Prattica has been unquestioningly accepted. Martin Luther is repeatedly quoted as saying that "Josquin is a master of notes, which must express what he desires; on the other hand, other choral composers must do what the notes dictate." Fortunately, we are increasingly discovering the sheer depth and diversity displayed by Josquin's contemporaries, in a Golden Age of Western music whose contrapuntal complexities have never been equalled let alone surpassed. Indeed it would appear that the radical innovations traditionally attributed to Josquin should now be attributed to Obrecht.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on January 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Flamboyant Gothic" is a specific designation in architecture, the meaning of which should be obvious "on the surface". If ever a piece of music could bear comparison to the flamboyant architectural extravagances of the portals of a Gothic cathedral, or to the prismatic radiance of Gothic stained glass windows, it would be Jacob Obrecht's Missa Caput, with its 'surface' of restless ornamental energy, its constant rhythmic prolations and colorations (also specific terms, referring to shifts in rhythm, usually between twos and threes), and its expressive exuberance, so distinct from the common apprehension of Obrecht as an 'intellectual' composer of otherwordly devotions. But, just as the most gargoyled and bedizened Gothic cathedral is supported on buttresses of exquisite engineering, structured in space and time by mathematics and pragmatic masonry, the Missa Caput is supported by a remarkably firm frame of 'cantus firmus' derived from a widely-known anonymous "Flamboyant English" mass which uses as its 'tenor' the melimastic last phrase, on the word CAPUT, from the plainchant antiphon 'Venit ad Petrum'. The tern 'tenor' is also specific in musicology, referring not to the high male voice but rather to the line of music, often expressed in long notes, that 'holds' (mainTAINs) the composition together. For Obrecht, and for Obrecht's generation, the evolution of the tenor, the structural role of the tenor, was probably the most significant question of musical theory.

Obrecht borrowed more than the simple tenor sequence of pitches for this mass. Essentially he recycled the whole lay-out of voices, spreading the tenor role throughout the various parts in all five sections of the 'ordinaries' (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei).
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Salve Regina / Missa Caput
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