The Spy’s Choirbook

Obsidian Records: CD712

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The Spy’s Choirbook

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2015

Winner - Early Music

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - January 2015

Catalogue No:

CD712

Discs:

2

Release date:

29th Sept 2014

Barcode:

0658592071221

Length:

1 hour 54 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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The Spy’s Choirbook


Agricola, A:

Dulces exuviae

anon.:

Nesciens mater

O Domine Iesu Christe/Et sanctissima mater tua

Maxsimilla Christo amabilis

Sancta et immaculata virginitas

Dulcissima virgo Maria

Tota pulchra es amica mea/O pulcherrima mulierum/Salve

O sancta Maria virgo virginum

Recordamini quomodo praedixit filium

O beatissime Domine Iesu Christe/Fac me de tua gratia ut

Ave sanctissima Maria

Congratulamini mihi omnes

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Dulces exuviae

Iesus autem transiens

Despres:

Descendi in hortum meum (attr.)

Fama malum

Missus est Gabriel angelus: excerpt

Dulces exuviae

Absalon Fili Mi

Tribulatio et angustia invenerunt me

Févin:

Adiutorium Nostrum

Sancta Trinitas

Egregie Christi martir Christophore

Ghiselin:

Dulces exuviae

Isaac:

Anima mea liquefacta est Invenerunt me/Filiae Ierusalem

Mouton, J:

Celeste beneficium

Ecce Maria genuit nobis

Dulces exuviae

Rue, P:

Ave regina caelorum source

Vexilla regis

Doleo super te

Strus:

Sancta Maria succurre miseris/O werder mondt

Thérache:

Verbum bonum et suave


Alamire & English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble, David Skinner

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Among the musical treasures in the British Library is MS Royal 8.g.vii, a sumptuous choirbook prepared for Henry VIII and his first queen Catherine of Aragon. It was produced by Petrus Alamire, who not only headed one of the finest musical scriptoriums of the age but acted as a spy for Henry against Richard de la Pole, a Plantagenet claimant to the English throne.

The choirbook, gifted to the royal couple in around 1516, contains 34 motets, many of them unique to this manuscript and includes masterworks by the leading French and Franco-Flemish composers of the age including Josquin Desprez, Jean Mouton, Heinrich Isaac, Antoine de Févin, and Pierre de la Rue.

Jean Mouton: Celeste beneficium

Celeste beneficium

Antoine de Fevin: Adiutorium nostrum

Adiutorium nostrum

Anonymous: Nesciens mater

Nesciens mater

Pierre de La Rue: Ave regina caelorum

Ave regina caelorum

Josquin des Prez: Descendi in hortum meum

Descendi in hortum meum

Antoine de Fevin: Sancta trinitas unus Deus

Sancta trinitas unus Deus

Pierre de La Rue: Vexilla Regis - Passio Domini nostri

Vexilla Regis - Passio Domini nostri

Josquin des Prez: Fama malum

Fama malum

Pierre de La Rue: Quis dabit pacem: Doleo super te

Quis dabit pacem: Doleo super te

Anonymous: O Domine Iesu Christe - Et sanctissima mater tua

O Domine Iesu Christe - Et sanctissima mater tua

Anonymous: Maxsimilla Christo amabilis

Maxsimilla Christo amabilis

Franciscus Strus: Sancta Maria succurre miseris - O werder mondt

Sancta Maria succurre miseris - O werder mondt

Anonymous: Sancta et immaculata virginitas

Sancta et immaculata virginitas

Josquin des Prez: Missus est Gabriel angelus

Missus est Gabriel angelus

Anonymous: Dulcissima virgo Maria

Dulcissima virgo Maria

Anonymous: Tolca purche es - Salve regina

Tolca purche es - Salve regina

Anonymous: O sancta Maria virgo virginum

O sancta Maria virgo virginum

Pierrequin de Therache: Verbum bonum et soave

Verbum bonum et soave

Anonymous: Recordamini quomodo praedixit filium

Recordamini quomodo praedixit filium

Anonymous: O beatissime Domine Iesu Christe - Fac me de tua gratia

O beatissime Domine Iesu Christe - Fac me de tua gratia

Anonymous: Ave Sanctissima Maria

Ave Sanctissima Maria

Jean Mouton: Ecce Maria genuit nobis

Ecce Maria genuit nobis

Anonymous: Congratulamini mihi omnes

Congratulamini mihi omnes

Antoine de Fevin: Egregie Christi martir Christophore - Ecce enim

Egregie Christi martir Christophore - Ecce enim

Anonymous: Alma redemptoris mater

Alma redemptoris mater

Anonymous: Dulces exuviae

Dulces exuviae

Alexander Agricola: Dulces exuviae

Dulces exuviae

Josquin des Prez: Dulces exuviae

Dulces exuviae

Jean Mouton: Dulces exuviae

Dulces exuviae

Johannes Ghiselin: Dulces exuviae

Dulces exuviae

Josquin des Prez: Absalon fili mi

Absalon, fili mi

Anonymous: Iesus autem transiens

Iesus autem transiens

Heinrich Isaac: Anima mea - Invenerunt - Filiae Ierusalem

Anima mea - Invenerunt - Filiae Ierusalem

Josquin des Prez: Tribulatio et angustia invenerunt me

Tribulatio et angustia invenerunt me

The Times

11th October 2014

*****

“Teasing title, glorious music...The history is fascinating; so is the fabulous music, a tour d’horizon of early 16th-century polyphony, sonorously delivered by the choir Alamire and English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble under David Skinner.”

The Guardian

23rd October 2014

****

“The performances are meticulous, the recorded sound rich and warm, and the effect often sumptuous, though at times perhaps a bit too dense for some tastes”

Gramophone Magazine

January 2015

“34 four-voice motets from the first decade of the century by French and Franco-Flemish composers, giving a magnificent panorama of the repertory. Most of them have never been recorded before. Most of the music is performed by mixed voices alone, a small group sounding gorgeous throughout.”

BBC Music Magazine

January 2015

****

“Skinner's scholarly expertise both strengthens and weakens his conducting. Cadences, modal shifts and points of imitation steer his reading. Especially when the English Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble joins the voices, Skinner illuminates the sophistication of Franco-Flemish motet writing.”

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