Secret History - Sacred Music

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Secret History - Sacred Music
John Potter, Anna Maria Friman (vocals)

[ ECM New Series / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 25 August 2017

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Tomas Luis de Victoria and Josquin Desprez were not contemporaries, they lived and worked in different countries, and perhaps shared little in terms of abstract compositional style. Yet throughout Europe, generations of musicians recognized them as kindred spirits, and tablature versions of their masses and motets circulated amongst lutenists. For John Potter, this is the secret life of the music in historical terms its real life. In this characteristically creative project, Potter - joined by Trio Mediaeval singer Anna Maria Friman and three outstanding vihuela players - explores what happens to music after it is composed. The album, produced by Manfred Eicher, was recorded at the St Gerold monastery in the Austrian mountains, where Potter previously contributed to Officium and other recordings with the Hilliard Ensemble and with The Dowland Project.

"The secret of the title [is] that the choral works of four and five centuries ago were seen at the time not as fixed monuments but as music ripe for adaptation as intimate chamber pieces. Anna Maria Friman lends her pure soprano to some of Josquin's motets, reworked as vocal duets, and the linking passages of chant or of solo vihuela give this pared-back disc a flowing, almost improvisatory feel." The Guardian


1. O magnum mysterium
2. Nesciens mater
3. Prelude I
4. Kyrie
5. Prelude II
6. Gloria
7. Prelude III
8. Credo
9. Prelude IV
10. Prelude
11. Benedictus
12. Prelude V
13. Agnus
14. Inviolata
15. Inviolata
16. Absalon, fili mi
17. Obsecro te
18. Obsecro te
19. Salve regina
20. Benedicta es
21. Benedicta es
22. Nymphes de Bois
23. O magnum mysterium