Libera Nos - The Cry of the Oppressed

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Libera Nos - The Cry of the Oppressed
Contrapunctus, Owen Rees

[ Signum / CD ]

Release Date: Monday 1 July 2013

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Coupling powerful interpretations with path-breaking scholarship, the choir Contrapunctus presents music by the best-known composers as well as unfamiliar masterpieces. Directed by Owen Rees, a specialist in music of the 16th and 17 centuries, the group presents imaginative programmes revealing previously undiscovered musical treasures and throwing new light on familiar works.

This recording explores the musical 'cries of the oppressed' from opposite ends of Europe, which include some of the most powerful works composed in England and Portugal during this period by Byrd, Tallis, de Monte and Cardoso. The highlight perhaps is the first recording of a newly reconstructed vocal work by Thomas Tallis, 'Libera nos'. This has long been thought to be an instrumental work, and has been recorded as such, but there's persuasive historical evidence for us to be confident that this is in fact a choral setting of the antiphon 'Libera nos', and it is performed here with the relevant text restored to the five vocal parts.


"The familiarity of Contrapunctus with this repertoire will come as little surprise. There is considerable security and confidence in their interpretations...A recital better dipped into than taken in at a sitting; but, at its best, intriguing and rewarding on its own terms."

"Contrapunctus was founded in 2010 and this is their first disc. They could hardly have made a better debut. The singing is superb: the voices are beautiful and their blending is perfect, without ever losing their individual character...The texts may not spread happiness but the singing can hardly fail to please." (MusicWeb)

"The results are impressive indeed… The three Portuguese works, by Cardoso and Pedro de Cristo, provide very interesting company for the English pieces not only for thematic reasons but for their stylistic differences and similarities… The sound of the ensemble is in general rounded and well blended… The choir's sound is beautifully captured by Signum's teams." (International Record Review)


Civitas Sancti Tui
Quomodo cantabimus
Miserere mei
Plorans plorabit
Infelix ego

Cardoso, M:
Sitivit anima mea

Lachrimans sitivit anima mea
Inter vestibulum

Monte, P:
Super flumina Babylonis

Laboravi in gemitu meo

Libera nos, salva nos à 5 for 5 viols, lute
In ieiunio et fletu
Salvator mundi