Rose Magnificat

Rose Magnificat

by Gabrieli Consort & Players


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Numerous albums of sacred choral music are centered on the theme of Mary, but this one by director Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort (about 15 singers, mixed-gender, adult) stands out from the crowd. There is the by-now exceptional sensitivity of the singers, who catch the structural significance of small turns of melody even in the outwardly featureless surfaces of English early Renaissance polyphony. There is the discrimination in selecting contemporary repertoire: the program is framed by two exceptionally fine pieces on the Rose theme; one of them, Matthew Martin's "A Rose Magnificat," is newly composed. And that leads one to the real attraction of this release: McCreesh has revivified a programming idea that is almost a cliché in both England and America. Choirs present Renaissance polyphony, and then add in obligatory a cappella works from contemporary English choral composers. What McCreesh does is make this seem new, and logical, and inevitable. At the center of the program are two sizable Renaissance pieces, neither remotely common: a "Magnificat" of Robert White and a "Salve Regina" of Robert Wylkynson. These, taken by themselves, are formidable programming challenges, and the beauty of the Gabrieli Consort's singing goes a long way toward meeting them. The picture is filled out by the way the contemporary pieces interweave with the Renaissance ones, both musically (McCreesh selects works with melodic details in common) and textually (his contemporary works either have liturgical texts or those from the Renaissance period). The end result is a choral release that asserts the unity of the entire English choral tradition with an unusually deep musical argument, and a musical and spiritual experience of great beauty. McCreesh's engineers and editors have plainly taken the time to learn the ins and outs of the acoustically wholly appropriate Romsey Abbey.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/04/2018
Label: Signum Uk
UPC: 0635212053621
catalogNumber: 536
Rank: 143315

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