This is a good selection of motets because it hardly duplicates the last two such discs. On Orlando Consort’s collection of Josquin’s motets ( Fanfare 34:1), only Read more is heard, and none of them are on David Skinner’s more varied disc (33:1). It follows another Josquin disc by Cordes (35:6), though it was recorded a year later, a fine offering that unfortunately had to compete with an excellent recording of a Mass in Peter Phillips’s ongoing series.
Paul Hillier’s Theatre of Voices, like the Hilliard Ensemble with whom he was associated before settling in America, have given the music of Arvo Part a prominent place in their repertoire. Hillier has also written a book on Part – from which his notes accompanying this CD are mostly drawn (The Music of Arvo Part; OUP: 1997) – and in the collective interview run in last September’s issue (page 14) he described his first encounter with several of Part’s scores, “Something leapt out at me: this was the kind of music I had been waiting to perform”.
This is a gem of a CD. It's a well-chosen, well-performed and well-presented anthology of mid-Baroque German sacred cantatas. Bass Peter Kooij and the seven-person L'Armonia Sonora are directed by gambist Mieneke Van der Velden. They have a close and warm affinity not only with one another, but also for the music; it's music as varied as it's beautiful. Its rich, sustained sonorities will stay with you long after you have finished the uplifting experience of listening to the CD. Released on the enterprising Ramée label De profundis clamavi comprises seven sumptuous examples of the music written in the north German Länder in the period after the Thirty Years War. It's music which not so much 'reflects' that profound conflict, as is 'affected' by it – weighed down with detached regret and unselfconscious resignation.
Łacińskie „de profundis” oznacza „z głębokości”. Dogłębnie, trafnie, z historycznym i odautorskim komentarzem opisuje tu Wańkowicz dzieje exodusu Polaków do Kanady na przełomie wieków XIX i XX. Ale „Polacy i Ameryka” to nie tylko dzieje exodusu. …
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev is one of the most widely performed of all living Russian composers. Each of his new compositions constitutes a milestone in contemporary musical history. His ability to imbue his music with profound religious content, to unite diverse cultures and styles, to invent new ways of musical expression while remaining faithful to the centuries-old classical tradition, and to utter most profound themes using a simple and comprehensible musical language, singles him out among present day composers. His most widely performed work, the St Matthew Passion (2006), has received worldwide recognition. Following its premiere in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in March 2007, it has been performed more than seventy times in different countries by the most distinguished soloists, choirs and orchestras. Invariably it receives standing ovations from audiences at each concert. This SACD features five works by Metropolitan Hilarion that were produced over a thirty year period and performed by the excellent Russian National Orchestra.
Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville (1711-1772) was one of the most gifted composer-violinists of his day, regarded by some to be the equal of Rameau. Though born and bred in Narbonne, he was soon drawn to Paris where his brilliant playing found early recognition. In 1740 he was appointed sous-maître at the royal chapel. From this time dates also a close association with the Concert Spirituel (of which he was for a period artistic director and first violinist). It was here that the works on this recording were first heard. Roberte Machard has calculated that between 1740 and 1762 there were no fewer than sixty-one performances of the grand motet Venite, exultemus and, between 1748 and 1762, forty performances of De profundis. This degree of popularity was accorded otherwise only to the grands motets of Delalande. Although Mondonville was active also as a dramatic composer, it was probably his sacred vocal and instrumental music that won him the greatest acclaim.