Francisco Guerrero: Missa Surge propera

Francisco Guerrero: Missa Surge propera

by The Tallis Scholars

SACD(Super Audio CD - SACD Hybrid)


Spanish Renaissance composer Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599, between Morales and Victoria) has been something of a neglected master of the era, but some new discs have revealed a distinctive creator of unaccompanied choral music (most of it sacred, including all the music on this disc). Like Victoria, Guerrero was influenced by the restrained, smoothed-down yet kinetic style of Palestrina. Yet his music is quite different in effect, and the works here, a mass plus seven motets (one of which provides the raw material for the "parody" "Missa Surge propera"), also reveal few of the dark hues of the more familiar Spanish composers of the period. Much of the music here is tied together by Marian themes; Guerrero, in fact, was apparently known as "El cantor de María." The influence of Palestrina shows up in the vast spaces of Guerrero's music, but he tends to fill in his spaces with expressive devices rather than the rich towers of vertical sonority of the Pope Marcellus Mass. Guerrero reacts to the texts, and his motets are calm and pious, but not simple. The music is an ideal candidate for audiophile treatment, and the Tallis Scholars under director Peter Phillips, are perhaps the ideal ensemble for the music. The small mixed-gender group, with voices now and then emerging distinctly from the texture, makes Guerrero's polyphony clear and gives the music the expressive dimension it needs. Guerrero, wrote Phillips, offers "emotion filtered through formal balance," and the music here offers the additional filters of superbly skilled choral singing and fine sound engineering. An excellent choice for those curious about this Spanish master, or for anyone wanting a sonically rich disc of Renaissance choral music.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/11/2006
Label: Gimell Uk
UPC: 0755138154001
catalogNumber: 540


  1. Missa Surge propera
  2. Usquequo, Domine
  3. Ave Maria
  4. Hei mihi, Domine, motet for 6 voices
  5. Surge Propera Amica Mea
  6. Beata Dei Genitrix, Maria a 06
  7. Ave Virgo Sanctissima, motet for 5 voices
  8. Regina Coeli

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