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Music for Henry V and the House of Lancaster
The English cyclic Mass Quem malignus spiritus and ceremonial motets for fifteenth-century princely chapels
The Binchois Consort presents a disc which demonstrates the beauty and grandeur of the music performed daily in princely chapels of fifteenth-century England. It illustrates the sheer variety of types of singing, some of it virtuosic in its brilliance. Specifically it offers sacred ceremonial pieces written either for Henry V himself, as King, or to invoke the saintly patron of the House of Lancaster, John of Bridlington, as well as a selection of intricate motets.
Scholarly notes by Philip Weller place this music firmly in its historical context, and the Binchois performances represent the highest standard of early music singing of the present day. Every nuance is considered and each phrase is relished in this immaculately polished disc.
“This repertoire testifies to the haunting purity of music from the early 15th century...The Binchois Consort under Andrew Kirkman performs with discreet, moving expressiveness.” The Telegraph, 2nd September 2011 ****
“It's subtle, beautiful stuff and no one would doubt its spiritual sincerity...One piece, a setting of the Gloria, is ascribed to "Roy Henry", reckoned to be the king himself; he was quite a composer, if this is anything to go by. The performances are faultless.” The Guardian, 8th September 2011 ****
“The all-male Binchois Consort sing the bellicose king's gruff polyphony with appropriately hard, but not unpleasant tone. They sound fresh off the battlefield...The low tenors peal out the cantus firmus of the mass while eunuchy altos and high tenors weave extended intricate lines over it in phrases arched like an arrow shower...This is an enlightened disc covering an unexplored repertoire.” Classic FM Magazine, October 2011 ****
“The is a magical and moving chance to hear music directly from the circle of Henry V and his son Henry VI...It would be difficult to imagine more tuneful, exacting interpretations of some of these compositions...this is an adventurous disc which provides a fascinating glimpse into the kind of soundscape that must have greeted Henry V on his return from Agincourt.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2011 ****
“All these works, with their endless rhythmic and melodic variety and dense counterpoint, present considerable challenges in performance...All in all, I think this is The Binchois Consort's best recording yet.” International Record Review, September 2011
“What stand out are the freshness and vigour of [the Missa's] rhythmic shapes, and the richness of its imitative weaving...As we gear up towards 2015 one can only hope that this beautiful disc will help to give a more rounded picture of the Victor of Agincourt as a musical patron with exquisite taste.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2011
BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice - October 2011
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Music for Mary Volume 2
Richard Lea (organ)
The Choir of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Timothy Noon
“Most impressive is Timothy Noon's own setting of Salve regina. Partly because this music is so well tailored both for this choir and for the sound it makes in the cathedral, the choir seems to raise its game...The single organ solo is a typical essay in style over substance by Langlais, but delivered with suitable panache by Richard Lea and making a dazzling centrepiece to this thoroughly enjoyable programme.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2011
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.
Stella Del Nostro Mar
Past and present reflections of the Marian inspiration
Recorded at Chiesa della B.V. Maria del Monte Carmelo al Colletto, Italy, in May, June and August 2007 and April 2008.
After completing their original trilogy devoted to Guillaume Dufay (two volumes of motets and one of chansons) and before setting out on their next large-scale project, Giuseppe Maletto and Cantica Symphonia reduced their ensemble to its vocal core and arranged themselves in front of the microphones in order to make what quite possibly will be the most personal disc of their careers. The result was a series of intimate sessions made across 2007 and 2008, all of them in the acoustic where they rehearse, perform and have recorded for many years, whose quincentenary is currently being commemorated. Maletto and his singers deliver an anthology of motets and laude inspired by the Virgin Mary, many of them hitherto little-known.To the Renaissance compositional voices of Mouton, Isaac, Willaert and Peñalosa are joined for this occasion two living composers, Carlo Galante and Yakov Gubanov, with works written especially for Cantica Symphonia. An excellent and original a capella disc, performed by one of today's most invigorating early music ensembles.
“The vocal quartet's tone is gentle and not overly assertive… at its best the results are very satisfying. Isaac's setting of the popular Alma redemptoris chant is glowingly done, and incidentally captures the outgoing euphony that makes him such an attractive composer.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2009
“an intense musical and spiritual experience…Blend, control and breadth of tone abound…if Renaissance polyphony is one of your great loves, then this is a most important addition to your listening library.” Organists Review
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)