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In the Midst of Life
Various composers

Contrapunctus

In the Midst of Life

Price: € 19.95 13.97
Format: CD
Label: Signum Classics
UPC: 0635212040829
Catnr: SIGCD 408
Release date: 17 April 2015
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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19.95 13.97
old €19.95 new € 13.97
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Label
Signum Classics
UPC
0635212040829
Catalogue number
SIGCD 408
Release date
17 April 2015

"However this music originally was only performed by the ''choirboys'' and men, this edition is also sublime! A true musthave!"

Stretto, 19-7-2017
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Following its nomination for a Gramophone Early Music Award in 2014, Contrapunctus now releases an album of motets from the Baldwin Tudor partbooks on the theme of mortality. Conducted by Owen Rees, the album includes Sheppard’s epic Media vita and works by Byrd, Parsons, Mundy, Taverner, Gerarde and Tallis, with Contrapunctus’s own reconstructions of the missing tenor parts. Founded in 2010 and directed by Owen Rees, Contrapunctus draws its repertoire from England, the Low Countries, Spain, Portugal and Germany, particularly in the 16th -17th c.
Motetten over sterfelijkheid uit de Baldwin partbooks
De Baldwin partbooks zijn een van de beste muziekcollecties uit de Elizabethaanse tijd. Ze presenteren een prachtig en rijk overzicht van Engelse muziek op Latijnse teksten, met een breed scala aan religieuze thema’s. Ze zijn bijzonder waardevol omdat ze stukken bevatten die in geen enkele andere bron zijn overgeleverd. Zonder deze collectie zou bijvoorbeeld een belangrijk deel van het oeuvre van John Sheppard verloren zijn gegaan. Bovendien omvat het repertoire een lange periode, reikend van voor de Engelse Reformatie tot aan de muziek van John Taverner. De meest beroemde componisten die worden vertegenwoordigd zijn Thomas Tallis en zijn leerling William Byrd. Daarnaast bevat de collectie werken van een jongere generatie componisten, onder wie Robert Parsons en William Mundy.

Het vocale ensemble Contrapunctus presenteert een album met motetten uit de Baldwin partbooks op het thema van sterfelijkheid: de vrees voor de dood en de eeuwige kwelling, de anticipatie op de Dag des Oordeels, en het verlangen van de ziel om God te ontmoeten. Dit is het eerste album uit een serie die opnames van muziek uit deze collectie bevat. Het bevat het epische Media vita van Sheppard en werken van Byrd, Parsons, Mundy, Taverner, Gerarde en Tallis, met Contrapunctis’ eigen reconstructies van de ontbrekende tenorpartijen. Het ensemble wordt gedirigeerd door Owen Rees.

Artist(s)

Contrapunctus (vocals)

Coupling powerful interpretations with pathbreaking scholarship, Contrapunctus presents music by the best known composers as well as unfamiliar masterpieces. The group’s repertoire is drawn from England, the Low Countries, Spain, Portugal and Germany, particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The scholarly facet of the group’s work – including the discovery of long-lost music and reconstructions of original performing contexts – allows audiences to experience the first performances of many works in modern times. Since its foundation in 2010, the group has appeared in the AMUZ Festival in Antwerp, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the Festival van Vlaanderen in Mechelen and Averbode, the Music Sacra Festival in Maastricht, the Festival de Música Antigua de Úbeda y Baeza in Spain, the...
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Coupling powerful interpretations with pathbreaking scholarship, Contrapunctus presents music by the best known composers as well as unfamiliar masterpieces. The group’s repertoire is drawn from England, the Low Countries, Spain, Portugal and Germany, particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The scholarly facet of the group’s work – including the discovery of long-lost music and reconstructions of original performing contexts – allows audiences to experience the first performances of many works in modern times. Since its foundation in 2010, the group has appeared in the AMUZ Festival in Antwerp, the Utrecht Early Music Festival, the Festival van Vlaanderen in Mechelen and Averbode, the Music Sacra Festival in Maastricht, the Festival de Música Antigua de Úbeda y Baeza in Spain, the Eboræ Musica Festival and Setúbal Festival in Portugal, the concert series at De Bijloke in Ghent, and the Martin Randall Festival of Spanish Music (Seville Cathedral). The ensemble’s first two recordings, Libera nos and In the Midst of Life, were both shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award. As Vocal Consort in Residence at the University of Oxford, the group is a collaborator in the Tudor Partbooks Project, the aim of which is to study the Baldwin partbooks and other sets of Tudor partbooks, to restore the missing voice parts of the repertories they contain, and to broaden public knowledge of this repertory.

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Owen Rees (conductor)

Owen Rees is both performer and scholar, his scholarship consistently informing his performances.  Through his extensive work as a choral director, he has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance and Baroque music, including many previously unknown or little-known works from Spain and Portugal. His interpretations of these repertories have been acclaimed as ‘rare examples of scholarship and musicianship combining to result in performances that are both impressive and immediately attractive to the listener’, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field.   He has conducted at festivals worldwide, and is increasingly busy as a leader of workshops on performance of Renaissance polyphony. He has broadcast...
more
Owen Rees is both performer and scholar, his scholarship consistently informing his performances. Through his extensive work as a choral director, he has brought to the concert hall and recording studio substantial repertories of magnificent Renaissance and Baroque music, including many previously unknown or little-known works from Spain and Portugal. His interpretations of these repertories have been acclaimed as ‘rare examples of scholarship and musicianship combining to result in performances that are both impressive and immediately attractive to the listener’, and he has been described as ‘one of the most energetic and persuasive voices’ in this field. He has conducted at festivals worldwide, and is increasingly busy as a leader of workshops on performance of Renaissance polyphony. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and on Portuguese, Spanish, and Norwegian radio. He has released CD recordings on the Hyperion, Signum, and Avie labels to consistently high critical acclaim and his work has been shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award.
Owen Rees began his academic and conducting career as Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, studying with Peter le Huray and Iain Fenlon. After a period as College Lecturer in Music at St Peter’s College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he joined the Music Department at the University of Surrey, where he was promoted to the post of Reader. In 1997 he returned to Oxford, where—in addition to his posts of Fellow in Music at The Queen’s College and Director of Music of the Choir of The Queen's College—he is Senior Research Fellow at Somerville College and a Professor in the Faculty of Music. His numerous published studies include work on the Spanish composers Cristóbal de Morales and Francisco Guerrero and the English composer William Byrd.

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Composer(s)

Thomas Tallis

Thomas Tallis was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music, and is considered one of England's greatest composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: that painted by Gerard Vandergucht (illustration), dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no reason to suppose that it is a likeness. In a rare existing copy of his black letter signature, the composer spelled his last name 'Tallys.' Tallis is known for his work with William Byrd. He started to teach the much younger Byrd at the Chapel Royal in London. Later, they were both appointed as organists of the Chapel. 
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Thomas Tallis was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music, and is considered one of England's greatest composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: that painted by Gerard Vandergucht (illustration), dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no reason to suppose that it is a likeness. In a rare existing copy of his black letter signature, the composer spelled his last name "Tallys." Tallis is known for his work with William Byrd. He started to teach the much younger Byrd at the Chapel Royal in London. Later, they were both appointed as organists of the Chapel.


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William Byrd

William Byrd was an English composer. He was one of the greatest composers of his generation. Hiis name is sometimes spelled as Bird, Byrde, or Byred. The exact dates of his birth and death are not known, and even his place of birth (Lincoln) is merely guesswork, based on the fact that several families named Byrd lived in Lincolnshire during the 17th century.  As a child, Byrd received music lessons from the renowned Thomas Tallis in the Chapel Royal in London. Byrd is part of the so-called virginalists. In 1563, he was appointed as organist of the cathedral in Lincoln, even though he must have only been around 20 years old and in 1572 he was appointed as organist of Chapel Royal...
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William Byrd was an English composer. He was one of the greatest composers of his generation. Hiis name is sometimes spelled as Bird, Byrde, or Byred. The exact dates of his birth and death are not known, and even his place of birth (Lincoln) is merely guesswork, based on the fact that several families named Byrd lived in Lincolnshire during the 17th century. As a child, Byrd received music lessons from the renowned Thomas Tallis in the Chapel Royal in London. Byrd is part of the so-called virginalists. In 1563, he was appointed as organist of the cathedral in Lincoln, even though he must have only been around 20 years old and in 1572 he was appointed as organist of Chapel Royal together with Tallis. In 1575, again with Tallis, he received the rights to publish and sell his music by Queen Elizabeth I. In honour of the Queen, the two composers dedicated their Cantiones Sacrae in the same year.
On multiple occasions, Byrd was prosecuted in court. As a catholic, he was repeatedly prosecuted for the rejection of Anglicanism. Nonetheless, he remained in favour of the Queen, probably because he composed music for both religious branches. Moreover, he wrote both secular and sacred music, and both vocal and instrumental pieces.


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John Taverner

John Taverner was amongst the most important and most influential English composers of his generation. Only little is known about his life. He was apparently born somewhere in Lincolnshire, and served as organist and master of the choristers in Christ Church, Oxford. Taverner composed primarily sacred vocal works with florid polyphony, extended climaxes for accomplished soloists and room for innovation. He is mainly known for his masses and Magnificats, amongst others the Western Wynde Mass and the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas. The latter mass gave origin to an instrumental genre known as In nomine, named after the mass section of which an instrumental arrangement appeared that gave rise to the composition of similar works. This genre remained popular within English music until the time of Purcell.
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John Taverner was amongst the most important and most influential English composers of his generation. Only little is known about his life. He was apparently born somewhere in Lincolnshire, and served as organist and master of the choristers in Christ Church, Oxford.
Taverner composed primarily sacred vocal works with florid polyphony, extended climaxes for accomplished soloists and room for innovation. He is mainly known for his masses and Magnificats, amongst others the Western Wynde Mass and the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas.
The latter mass gave origin to an instrumental genre known as In nomine, named after the mass section of which an instrumental arrangement appeared that gave rise to the composition of similar works. This genre remained popular within English music until the time of Purcell.

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Press

However this music originally was only performed by the ''choirboys'' and men, this edition is also sublime! A true musthave!
Stretto, 19-7-2017

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