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Jacob Obrecht: Missa de Sancto Donatiano [CD+DVD] Import

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 13, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

A recreation of an authentic 15th century polyphonic mass by Capella Pratensis, a well-known Dutch expert in this type of repertoire.

Product Details

  • Performer: Wim Diepenhorst
  • Conductor: Wim Diepenhorst
  • Composer: Jacob Obrecht, Wim Diepenhorst, Gregorian Chant, Flemish Traditional
  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Challenge Classics
  • ASIN: B0025TJ4U6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This recording by Capella Pratensis, with its accompanying DVD can be warmly recommended.

The Missa De Sancto Donatiano as performed here manages to bring out not only the structural complexity of the work, but also its sheer sensuous beauty, not to mention the mood of gentle joy that pervades it, as it does many of Obrecht's works. Although a few might prefer the faster paced, harder edged and more manneristic rendition of ANS Chorus under Janos Bali, recorded on Hungaraton, this is the better performance of the work for most listeners.

The DVD is an added bonus, and pays due attention to the multiple layers of meaning of the work and the musical materials out of which it is made. Since other reviewers have said enough about the video, I will confine myself to noting a couple imprecisions in the documentary part of the DVD. Catholic theology did not then (and now does not now) countenance the "worship" of saints in the usual English sense of the term, as the interlocutors imply at one point. Unless that, that is, in the sense that even in Protestant England people used to refer to judges as "Your Worship!" Also, it is not precisely true that the elevation is the point at which, according to Catholic theology, the bread in the Mass becomes the Body of Christ. That happens at the "Words of Institution" immediately before.

Overall, a lovely CD and a useful DVD!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't take time to read this review! Buy this performance now! The earlier recordings of Cappella Pratensis have vanished from the market leaving scarcely a trace, despite the fact that they were all first rate. Don't take a chance on missing this one! It's my first "must buy" selection of 2010, and quite possibly the finest recording of a polyphonic mass I've ever heard.

Cappella Pratensis, under its new conductor Stratton Bull, has blessed us with a CD/DVD combo of amazing quality. Let's start with the DVD. It includes a filmed 'recreation' of the premiere 'performance' of Jacob Obrecht's Missa de Sancto Donatiano, as sung in the Donass Chapel of the Sint Jacobskerk in Bruges on an evening in October 1487. That chapel is now a storage closet, so the recreation was staged in a similar chapel in the Sint Gilliskerk of Bruges. The eight choristers are clothed in simple white surplices and sing standing shoulder to shoulder from a single part-book in original 'white' notation placed on a massaive lectern. The three celebrants of the mass sing their liturgical 'propers' at an altar to the side of the choir. A woman in opulent Renaissance costume kneels at their feet; she is the widow of the wealthy merchant Donaas de Moor, who commissioned the composition of the mass and the singing of it in perpetuity. The actress playing this role looks remarkably like the patroness, whom we see in double, in the flesh and in the right-hand panel of the altarpiece of the Deposition, painted by the 'Master of the Saint Lucy Legend'. The kneeling middle-aged man portrayed on the left-hand panel is the dead merchant, Donaas de Moor, who obviously commissioned the painting. The celebrants are clad in priestly vestments and conduct the Mass in full solemnity.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this CD/DVD at the suggestion of a recorded music salesman. He told me that it was quite a beautiful performance and value for money. It is much more than that. The performance of the piece is simply beautiful. The accompanying DVD is stunning. It features a reconstruction of the Requiem Mass in the original chapel in which it had it's first performance in October 1487. The choir is gathered around the great music book while off to the side the widow kneels as the priest and his assistants offer the Mass. This makes for compelling viewing for all who wish to see a Mass seeting in it's original form. The DVD also features a documentary piece in which a scholar takes us through the background for the writing of the Mass etc. This scholar's enthusiasm for the piece is infectious. She makes the comment that the restoration of the Mass setting to it's original liturgical framework offers us the opportunity to understand the spiritual nature of the Masses we hear. I cannot rate this CD/DVD highly enough. The cost is minimal compared to the glorious treasure that you will uncover once you hear/see the work of Obrecht.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This package includes two different performances of Obrecht's mass: one recorded at a church in Bolland, Belgium in 2006, the other filmed the following year at the church in Bruges where it was originally performed. As other reviewers have noted, the filmed version has a bit of distortion in the loud passages. This will be very annoying to some while others will hardly notice. However on the cd version, the sound is superb as are the music and the performance, and the dvd also contains an interesting documentary with Prof. Jennifer Bloxam providing historical and musical context. Ms. Bloxam has also created a website (obrechtmass.com) with additional historical information, an annotated score, etc. So even if you never watch the performance on the dvd, this is still very much worth having.
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