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Allegri: Miserere / Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli / Mundy: Vox Patris Caelestis Import, Original recording reissued
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William Mundy's "Vox Patris Caelestis" (The Voice of the heavenly Father) is a celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,and borrows heavily from the Song of Solomon.Perhaps at first you might think it doesn't quite have the appeal of the other two items on this disc,but it does repay repeated listening,and with the barely reined in passion of it's final verse provides a most satisfying sonic bridge between the more subdued beauties of the other masterworks.Read more ›
Part of the power of the Miserere lies in its basic simplicity, which is one of the fundamental building blocks of spirituality. Indeed, legend has it that the Pope once decreed that it could only be performed at the Vatican, and only under conditions of special care due to its spiritual power. Legend continues that this monopoly was broken when Mozart (as a child) heard the piece and, from one hearing only, transcribed the music into print form and distributed it from there. Perhaps this is an embellishment, but it is a romantic story befitting the piece. The Miserere is based on Psalm 51 (Allegri's setting is but one of many), the great penitential psalm of the Lenten season. This sombre and searching spirituality permeates the music from start to finish. The high piercing notes recalling the piercing guilt and the pierced Christ cry over the mixture of voices that produce a most exquisite grumble of humanity in search of God.
--Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli-
Written at least a generation prior to Allegri's Miserere, Palestrina's Mass for Pope Marcellus II is likewise a composition in search of the absolute and absolving God. Reacting to an overly ornate liturgy of the Roman Catholic church in the face of popular and growing Reformation types, Palestrina became a great champion for music that preserved both the grandeur of the liturgy as well as the accessibility of the message and language for the people. The lower vocals make the Mass a part of the people, rather than existing on high, inaccessible.
--William Mundy's Vox Patris caelestis-
Mundy's work is roughly contemporary with that of Palestrina (mid to late 1500s).Read more ›
This recording by the Tallis Scholars under the direction of Peter Phillips is considered by many to be the finest performance of Allegri's "Miserere". This composition is quite simple in construction and much of it's impact relies on the conditions of performance, especially on the acoustic. And so the Tallis Scholars have used a reverberant building. It was recorded in Merton College Chapel,Oxford, and sets new standards for recording unaccompanied sacred music.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the wonderful moments created by the solo group in 'Miserere':Allison Stamp(treble), Jane Armstrong, Michael Chance, and Julian Walker. The sound of these voices raises one to the heights and projects such exquisite beauty. Allison Stamp's highest note as the melody peaks is uncanningly beautiful!
Palestrina's "Missa Papae Marcelli" has five movements. The richness of his music comes from the predominant use of lower voices- two tenors and two basses-with one countertenor and one treble. It was this glorious 'Marcellus Mass' that so impressed the Council of Trent (convened to purify the church service) in 1564, that they left Palestrina's music untouched.
William Mundy's "Vox Patris caelstis" (the voice of the Heavenly Father)was written during Queen Mary's reign (1553-1558) and is contemporary with Palestrina's work. Mundy composed on an enormous scale, the audibllity of the words being secondary to the expansion of the melodies, though he clearly appreciated the sensual connotation of the text, which is adapted from the 'Song of Solomon', as in, for instance, the repetitions of the word 'Veni'. I found this selection to be riveting in its glory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the first piece, Miserere. But can't tolerate the rest. Not the best selection of pieces.Published 4 months ago by Lois Seeger
Not so much impressed with this cd. It is not exactly the sound I was looking for. Chanting and singing much to high pitched.Published 6 months ago by abipasadena
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