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The all-male vocal ensemble Cinquecento have won great praise for their recordings of Renaissance rarities. Their tone, vocal flexibility, collective and individual musicianship and commitment to their chosen repertoire places them at the very forefront of modern-day specialists in this music.
Their latest disc features the music of Adrian Willaert, a contemporary of Josquin and for many years chapel master of the Venetian basilica di San Marco. Two extraordinary early works, Missa Mente tota and Quid non ebrietas, testify to the composer’s remarkable talent and love for complex contrapuntal constructions. Also included are four beautiful motets.
The disc is completed by one of the many compositional tributes rained upon Willaert at his death: Cipriano de Rore’s Concordes adhibete animos, a suprisingly joyful posthumous panygeric containing an ostinato on the words ‘Live on Adrian, glory of the Muses’.
All works except for Josquin’s Mente tota and Willaert’s Laus tibi, sacra rubens and Verbum bonum et suave are premiere recordings.
6th June 2010
“A dissonant motet on drunkenness and a hymn to the Holy Shroud which would later find a resting place in Turin are among the treasures here, sung by the accomplished ensemble Cinquecento – six male singers who specialise in less familiar Renaissance composers such as Monte and Regnart”
“On the page [Willaert's writing] looks almost suffocatingly opaque, but that's where Cinquecento comes in. Right from the off, they seize on this quality and make it work in their favour. It's a very Flemish sound (think of a very dark Trappist ale)...slowly, it begins to make sense...and finally puts Willaert in a new light.”
1st July 2010
“It's a beautifully conceived and immaculately realised sequence, sung with
simple directness by the six male voices of Cinquecento in a nicely churchy, but never overpowering, acoustic.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.