Christmas with the Shepherds

Christmas with the Shepherds

by The Marian Consort


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Christmas with the Shepherds

The singing on this release by Oxford University's one-voice-per-part Marian Consort is very strong. The group follows in the footsteps of the Tallis Scholars, with a clean, dispassionate style and a focus on sacred music of the High Renaissance. The choice of composers is yet a stronger reason to investigate the album: director Rory McCleery offers music by two Renaissance composers, Jean Mouton and Cristóbal de Morales, who were admired in their own time but whom history has consigned to secondary roles. The Morales "Missa Quaeramus cum pastoribus" is broken up with motets so as to suggest its liturgical use without being over-literal about it. There is also a delicious motet by the almost forgotten Annibale Stabile, perhaps a student of Palestrina. But the choice of repertoire is the best reason of all. The pastoral Christmas flavor is no less defined in music of the Renaissance than it is in the Baroque: these pieces are consistently marked by an emphasis on melody, by major-sounding modes, and by a hyper-consonance that unifies the program beautifully and makes it listenable even for casual buyers interested in the album as a holiday release. It's a concept that any listener in the 16th century would have recognized, but perhaps nobody has tried it on recordings before. With solid engineering from Delphian in Oxford's Merton chapel, this is a superior Renaissance a cappella choral release.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2014
Label: Delphian
UPC: 0801918341458
catalogNumber: 34145
Rank: 221846


  1. Quaeramus cum pastoribus, motet
  2. Pastores Dicite, motet for 4 voices (Liturgy of the Nativity)
  3. Noe, Noe, Psallite Noe
  4. Puer natus est nobis...Gloria in excelsis Deo, motet for 4 voices
  5. Missa "Queramus cum Pastoribus," for 5 Voices
  6. Quaeramus Cum Pastoribus, for 4 voices

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