Deo gracias Anglia! - Alamire
The Trinity Carol Roll (Trinity College, Cambridge, MS O.3.58) is the earliest source for the English polyphony carol. The thirteen works preserved in this manuscript include the patriotic ‘Agincourt’ carol, celebrating Henry V’s victory over the French in 1415, and the most famous of all early English carols ‘Ther is no rose’. The performances on this recording offer a fresh take on medieval instrumentation, and include the gothic harp, psaltery, plectrum lute, recorder and the etherial gemshorn, while the recording itself took place in the Wren Library in Trinity College, Cambridge.
Dixit Dominus - La Nuova Musica
David Bates directs La Nuova Musica in a pair of contrasting settings of Psalm 109. Handel's masterful and ambitious HWV282 was penned in 1707 during a youthful visit to Italy. Vivaldi's vivid and economical RV807 (his third Dixit Dominus) was long mistakenly attributed to Baldassare Galuppi; it probably dates from the early 1730s. Rounding out the programme is Vivaldi's dazzling motet for solo voice, "In furore iustissimae irae", featuring soprano Lucy Crowe.
Bach and his rivals - The Bach Players
This double CD presents two sets of cantatas by three composers: Telemann, Graupner, and J.S. Bach. The first disc has cantatas composed in 1722–3 as audition pieces for the job of Kantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig. Both Telemann and Graupner were attractive and likely candidates, as these works prove. Bach – despite his subsequent glory – was the outsider. The second disc gives us cantatas by the same three composers a year later, composed for the same Sunday, 30 January 1724. The gospel reading for that day tells the story of Jesus stilling the storm at sea: the music reaches dramatic heights. These cantatas, with the addition of instrumental works by Telemann and Graupner, paint a substantial picture of music in Germany at that moment.
Sacrifices - La Nuova Musica
Spirituality and drama. David Bates leads La Nuova Musica in “Sacrifices,” a program of intensely dramatic oratorios from the middle Baroque: Giacomo Carissimi?s Historia di Jephte; Marc-Antoine Charpentier?s Sacrificium Abrahae and Le Reniement de saint Pierre, interspersed with instrumental music by Sébastien de Brossard. “The vocal consort sang beautifully ... Directing from the organ ... David Bates favoured slow tempi and luxuriant textures.” (The Independent, review of the Spitalfields Festival production)
John Taverner - Imperatrix Inferni - Alamire
John Taverner (d. 1545) is, arguably, the most famous of all early Tudor composers, and one who had a rather colourful musical and political career. His music represents the final flowering of late medieval English polyphony before the onslaught of the mid 16th-century Reformation. Much of the music on this recording centres around Taverner's earlier career, including the three surviving large-scale Votive Antiphons. Included, too, is his sumptuous six-part Quemadmodum, which stylistically foreshadows true 'Renaissance' composition in England.