This page lists all recordings of Osculetur me osculo oris sui, by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-94) on CD, SACD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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Palestrina Volume 2
Following the success of the first volume in their Palestrina series which won the International Classical Music Award for Early Music, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen release the second recording in the series which has a Christmas theme.
Palestrina was born in 1525 not far from Rome, in the town whose name he bore and from which we take the cover images for this series of discs.
Possibly the greatest composer of liturgical music of all time, Palestrina was a towering figure in Renaissance polyphony. Choral singers world-wide will know his Missa Papae Marcelli (recorded by The Sixteen on COR16014) as, without doubt, it is the most renowned of Palestrina’s works and possibly the most famous mass of all time.
Each volume in this series is based around a single mass and theme relevant to that mass, in this case the Nativity and the festive Motet and Mass Hodie Christus Natus Est. The mass features alongside some of his settings of the Song of Songs as well as the Magnificat Quinti toni and Motet O magnum mysterium.
“The Sixteen are at their best in jubliant passages of celebration...In some of the motets the singers make the most of the word painting: they skip along the running melodies at the word 'curremus' in Osculetur me osculo; and in Nigra sum the lines jostle each other out of the way at the reference to fighting.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2013 ****
“The Sixteen let the music speak for itself, as they say. Festive spirit is here more a matter of inner feeling than outward show, as the repose of the Credo's inner movements testifies...It is done with the ensemble's near-immaculate poise and onn this showing their Palestrina cycle will rival (but also, I hope, complement) the Tallis Scholars'.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
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Song of Songs
The most 'profane' book of the Old Testament was among the favourite biblical texts of the Middle Ages. The composers of the Renaissance made particular use of it as a metaphor of divine love, or in association with the cult of Mary. After their first two extremely successful recordings, the singers of Stile Antico have chosen some of the most sumptuous examples of these musical settings.
“…the superb singers of Stile Antico are up to the challenge of presenting all the required moods from pious restraint… to melting abandon… a magnificent display of the very best kind of polyphonic music.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2009 *****
“The standout piece is Tómas Luis De Victoria's epic motet "Vadam et circuibo", a masterpiece of polychoral ingenuity.” The Independent, 29th May 2009 ****
“This ensemble, its members still in their 20s and just a dozen beautifully blended voices singing a cappella, has emerged as one of the best and freshest early music choirs around. Their third CD is a selection of motet and plainchant settings from the Song of Songs, the startling Old Testament collection of erotic love poems ascribed to King Solomon.” The Observer, 3rd May 2009
“…these are just the sort of performances I'd hope to hear in church, which was (one feels) the practical and creative laboratory for what is recorded: full but not strained singing, allowing an advantageous acoustic and the number (212) and freshness of voices to take care of blend and balance, with plenty left in reserve for the longer spans of the two magnificent Victoria anthems, Vadam et circuibo and Vidi speciosam.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2009
“One expectation that such an album may raise in its listeners is an answer to the question of what common and special inspiration might composers have taken from contemplating this most erotic of Biblical texts. The symptoms of their reactions might be sensuous melismas, perhaps, and anguished suspensions, surging bass–lines and… let us draw a veil there. Such devices and stratagems are in abundance, whether chastely deployed in turn by Clemens and Palestrina or flaunted all at once in the selections of Guerrero and Gombert, though no more so than they would be on a programme of Marian or Lenten devotions; and these are just the opening four tracks.
That unfair calculation ignores the plainchant antiphons between each pair of motets. These interspersions work well – as they must in a genuinely liturgical context, as here, thanks to the quiet good taste and stylistically homogeneous approach of Stile Antico, with an especially winsome unanimity to the female–only Tota pulchra es.
Indeed, these are just the sort of performances one would hope to hear in church, which was (one feels) the practical and creative laboratory for what is recorded: full but not strained singing, allowing an advantageous acoustic and the number (12) and freshness of voices to take care of blend and balance, with plenty left in reserve for the longer spans of the two magnificent Victoria anthems, Vadam et circuibo and Vidi speciosam.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
29 Motets for Five Voices from the "Song of Songs", Venezia 1584
Capella Dvcale Venetia, Livio Picotti
The Song of Songs
'One of Palestrina's most sublime and expressive works ... an excellently balanced and natural-sounding recording' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)
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