Busnois: Missa O Crux lignum
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Busnois: Missa O Crux lignum

4 Nov 2005 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 11 Jan 2005
  • Label: harmonia mundi
  • Copyright: 2005 harmonia mundi usa
  • Total Length: 1:02:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001L76F4Q
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,825 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Wisty TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2013
Format: Audio CD
You may wish to know that this CD has now been re-issued in a budget release here: Busnois: Mass 'O Crux lignum'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 20 May 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent disc of lovely early Renaissance music, performed by a very fine ensemble.

Busnois was one of the very greatest composers of the 15th century and this disc features one of his finest mass settings and a good selection of other pieces. The music is spare and often very lovely, but also dramatic and even rather subversively rumbustious in places. It marks the transition from the late Mediaeval to Renaissance styles, with some of Busnois's innovations paving the way for composers like Josquin. I think it's great stuff.

The Orlando Consort sing it wonderfully. They are a quartet of virtuoso singers who are stalwarts of ensembles like The Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen, and their impeccable technique and fine balance allow them to give this music the inner glow it deserves. It's a wonderful performance, and one of my favourites of theirs, which is really saying something.

This is a review of the original release, which has full texts, very good notes and attractive presentation. Even if the re-release lacks some of this, the music still makes it very well worth buying, and I recommend this very warmly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Hakemulder on 5 Jun 2012
Format: MP3 Download
I am not all that fond of the Orlando Consort, usually, with their typically English sound and a domineering countertenor, but they outdid themselves with this great disc. This is exciting music, with a rythmical complexity the Orlando Consort fully exploits: it swings. The technical quality of the singing is impeccable as fas as I can judge, and the result is an inspiring and largely joyful disk I could not get enough of. Read the amazon.com reviews for more ....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Lovely, yet unknown, works 26 Nov 2006
By Russ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sources indicate that Antonie Busnois (c. 1430-1492) was one of the most significant composers of the late 15th century. Despite this, recordings of his works, which include two masses, as well as numerous motets and chansons, are relatively few. I have seen his works appear on a handful of renaissance music anthologies, but this is the only release, of which I am aware, which solely features the work of Busnois. Busnois was, more or less, a contemporary of Dufay, and there are some similarities between the two composers.

First of all, this music is fantastic, and it appears that Busnois' reputation (that is, during the 15th century) was well deserved. The most notable item on this program is the "Missa O Crux lignum" which is dramatic, yet beautiful, in every regard. Even though the Mass lasts for nearly half an hour it is continuously engaging and is full of beguiling harmonic and rhythmic twists. The same holds true motets and chansons accompanying the Mass. Listen to the lively syncopations in the Chanson "Resjois-toy, terre de france" (Track 4) as an example. Or listen to the rhythmic buoyancy and leaping intervals of "Vostra beautre / Vous marches du bout du pie" (translation: "Your beauty / You are walking on tiptoe") as an additional example of Busnois' inventiveness (Track 13).

As expected from the Orlando Consort, the music is excellently performed and authentically realized (to the best of our present-day knowledge). If you happen to be unfamiliar with this group, the Orlando Consort is a four member vocal ensemble consisting of two tenors, a countertenor and a baritone, specializing in the performance of medieval and renaissance works. The ensemble has a warm sound, where contrasts between the different melodic lines are emphasized. Or in other words, the ensemble never creates a uniform "wall of sound" that is typical of some renaissance music performances. In any case, the distinct style of the Orlando Consort suits this repertoire well. It should also be mentioned that the sound is near audiophile quality.

In conclusion, this is an outstanding release, and I will return to it often (especially the Mass). If you enjoy the works of Dufay, or have enjoyed the Orlando Consort's previous releases, this disc is well-worth your attention.

Highly recommended.

TT: 62:38
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Listen In Awe!!!! 4 Jun 2012
By Peter P. Fuchs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I don't know what else to say. I am in awe of this CD. Both of the works which were unfamiliar to me. Thank God at nearly fifty, there are still great works of serious music that I have not discovered. But the awe is at once for the religious/cultural tradition which produced these great Masses and Motets here. But also for the -- at least to me -- improbable greatness and perfection of the performances. You see I remember very well going to the National Cathedral here in DC to here the Hilliard fellows, and their ever-so-studied take on the sexless English choir sound, which did not move me one bit. So many have been taken in by that "white" sound, that gutless and non-visceral musical hermeneutic, that one despairs of ever hearing great religious music sung by first rate singers who also happen to have balls. 'Cause I got news for ya'-- balls have sound.

The Orlando Consort sings the works of Busnois with such precision and sexy strength that it is utterly awesome. From start to finish this sounds like the most spiritual music imaginable, and yet you never forget that these are men singing. These works are so gorgeous that it is heartbreaking in their strength. Yet the performances and the sense that the voices are captured at a peak pushes this to the level of a spiritual marriage of flesh and soul.

After that apotheosis of superlatives, I have to end on some comic relief. I went to see what was on the online video site by the Orlando Consort. I came across a video of them singing a Josquin piece. Leaving aside their great talent for the moment, I have to register the hilarity of the scene captured there. Somehow this sublime group ended up singing on a set that looks like something left over from the 80's Johnny Depp Show "21 Jum Street", and apparently were asked to dress as if they were a Barber-Shop Quartet. And the lights behind them readies them equally improbably for humor, as it is what one would find in a none-too-elegant comedy club. But there they were in a rather dusky and seemingly un-spiritual spot, these really great musicians, giving performances that would give any truly religious and musical person a spiritual erection.
A Worthy Addition to any Early Vocal Collection 11 Nov 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I pretty much must echo what the two previous reviewers have already written. I listen to early vocal music on a casual basis, and I'm nowhere near being nowhere near an expert, but this disc is on my shelf along with Dufay and Binchois and other composers of the Franco-Flemish School. Two motets and several chanson are spread across this disc, with the Missa O Crux lignum more or less in the middle. The former elements are marvelous, and the mass is exquisite. The voices of the Orlando Consort, both singly and in concert, are quite heavenly. This is a keeper.
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