Palestrina: Vol. 6

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Palestrina: Vol. 6
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

[ Coro Palestrina Edition / CD ]

Release Date: Saturday 1 November 2014

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The Sixteen continues its acclaimed series of discs exploring the work of Italian Renaissance master, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. An enormous body of sacred works, including over 100 Masses, rightly earned Palestrina the title of 'the prince and father of music' and 'the saviour of church music'. His legacy has impacted sacred music worldwide for over 400 years and composers throughout the centuries have studied and learned from his gift of writing exquisite polyphony.

Central to this sixth disc is Palestrina's unjustly neglected 5-voice L'Homme armé Mass. Written before 1570, it is no mere technical showpiece, but contains music of the highest quality. It is accompanied on this disc by a group of penitential and devotional motets and Offertories on well known texts such as Parce mihi Domine, Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis, Tribulationes civitatem, De profundis, and Super flumina Babylonis, eliciting from Palestrina his best and most moving music. Three further Song of Songs motets in the Sixteen's ongoing complete survey complete the CD

"This sort of mood suits The Sixteen's brightly focused choral sound, and Harry Christophers's direction is unobtrusive but telling: the terraced approach to the final 'Kyrie' is a case in point, and the flowering into six voices in the concluding 'Agnus Dei' is particularly lovely." (Gramophone)

"Christophers artfully moulds and heightens the contours of the polyphonic lines, which ebb and flow in a liquid tapesty of sound...The Sixteen's rich, buttery sound is particularly effective for the sensual Song of Songs settings, which brim with Counter-Reformation fervour." (BBC Choral & Song Choice - Oct 2015)


Missa L'Homme Armé 5vv
Surge amica mea, speciosa mea (from Canticum canticorum)
Dilectus meus mihi
Peccantem me quotidie
Surgam et circuibo civitatem
Parce mihi, Domine
Si ambulavero in medio tribulationis
Tribulationes civitatum
Super flumina Babylonis
Tribularer si nescirem

SONG OF SONGS: nos. 16, 17 & 18