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Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex
     

Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex

by Anonymous 4
 
The Las Huelgas Codex, a collection of 186 pieces for liturgical or devotional practice, coming from sources that extended across Europe, was copied in the early 14th century for use in a convent near Burgos, Spain. It contains a broad variety of a cappella vocal music -- a rich assortment including masses, motets, and many types of songs -- so it's not possible to

Overview

The Las Huelgas Codex, a collection of 186 pieces for liturgical or devotional practice, coming from sources that extended across Europe, was copied in the early 14th century for use in a convent near Burgos, Spain. It contains a broad variety of a cappella vocal music -- a rich assortment including masses, motets, and many types of songs -- so it's not possible to characterize the collection as a whole, but much of it is notable for its emotional expressiveness, ranging from the poignant lament "O monialis conscio" to the radiant, ecstatic conductus "Ave maris stella." The Codex was written down at a period when there was still considerable notational ambiguity about how the music was to be performed, particularly its rhythm, and Anonymous 4, based on its members' lifetimes of scholarship, brings informed intuition and acute musical intelligence to the pieces. The result is an album that is musically and intellectually beguiling. There is much diversity in the material, which is sometimes monophonic and sometimes polyphonic, sometimes metrically regular and sometimes rhythmically free. The pieces are organized around the routine of the devotional hours in a convent, beginning at First Light and ending with Night. Anonymous 4 sings with its characteristic self-effacing purity, tonal sweetness, and exceptionally well-unified ensemble. The attractive repertoire and terrific performances make this an album that should appeal to any fan of medieval vocal music, as well as anyone who loves the sound of women's vocal ensembles. The sound of Harmonia Mundi's hybrid SACD is immaculate, warm, and present.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2011
Label:
Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC:
0093046751067
catalogNumber:
807510
Rank:
9426

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. In virgulto gracie, conductus
  2. O monialis
  3. Rex virginum amator (2v Kyrie trope)
  4. Salve porta / Salve salus / Salve sancta parens
  5. Benedicamus Domino cum cantico
  6. Maria virgo virginum
  7. Castrum pudicicie / Virgo viget melius
  8. Ave Maris Stella

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