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Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Missa Aeterna Christi Munera /Oxford Camerata Summerly

Oxford, Oxford Collapse, Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli; Missa Aeterna Christi Munera /Oxford Camerata  Summerly + William Byrd - Masses for Four and Five Voices + Tallis - Spem in alium
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0000013U7
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Masses, Book 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Kyrie 4:300.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Masses, Book 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Gloria 5:360.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Masses, Book 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Credo 8:26Album Only
Listen  4. Masses, Book 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Sanctus 8:48Album Only
Listen  5. Masses, Book 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Agnus Dei 7:46Album Only
Listen  6. Masses, Book 5: Missa Aeterna Christi munera: Kyrie 2:060.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Masses, Book 5: Missa Aeterna Christi munera: Gloria 2:500.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Masses, Book 5: Missa Aeterna Christi munera: Credo 5:040.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Masses, Book 5: Missa Aeterna Christi munera: Sanctus 5:000.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Masses, Book 5: Missa Aeterna Christi munera: Agnus Dei 4:520.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description


There's a wonderful legend, retold by (among others) Pfitzner's opera Palestrina, attached to the "Pope Marcellus" Mass: the Council of Trent, ground zero of the Counter Reformation, was about to ban all music but chant from the liturgy when Palestrina submitted this Mass, thereby changing the prelates' minds and saving church music. The writing is beautiful enough to deserve such a story: cheerful yet devout, comprehensible but not simplistic, without the complexity and secular borrowings (very prevalent in the preceding decades) that so perturbed the Council. The Missa Papae Marcelli has been recorded by choirs from Westminster Abbey to the Tallis Scholars, yet the Oxford Camerata does itself proud: Jeremy Summerly's reading of the music is reverently sweet, yet he's not afraid to make a joyful noise when appropriate--and the various voices are unusually clear. The equally radiant Missa Aeterna Christi Munera gets a similarly pleasing performance. Amidst serious competition, Summerly's readings of these Masses are among the best available--and, at Naxos's superbudget price, definitely the best value. --Matthew Westphal

Product Description

Missa Papae Marcelli - Missa Aeterna Christi Munera / Oxford Camerata - Jeremy Summerly, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something familiar, something new 26 Oct 2005
Format:Audio CD
Giovanni Pierluigi de Palestrina is sometimes called the greatest composer of the Roman Catholic church. Born in 1525 near Rome, he spent the better part of his career in service to the church as a choir member, choir master, conductor, composer and school master. He was sought after by many churches, and sometimes his popularity and skill got him into trouble both with his clerical patrons and with fellow musicians. He was offered prestigious positions in Rome and Vienna which were ultimately withdrawn because Palestrina's salary and conditions requirements were too high. He had some influence on the Council of Trent's musical decisions for reform of the Catholic worship practices, and was involved intimately with revising the Gradual and produced a harmonised version of the Latin Hymnal in 1589. He died in 1594.
The first mass presented here is Missa Papae Marcelli. Written in the 1550s, it wasn't published until the next decade. Pope Marcellus was only pope for a few weeks, but managed to endear himself to composers and conductors by insisting upon clarity as the highest of virtues for choristers. There is a joy to this, as Palestrina is definitely in the mode of celebrating the life of Pope Marcellus. This is one of Palestrina's most recorded works.
The second mass, Missa Aeterna Christi Munera is likewise a strong composition, although it is much less known than the first. Palestrina wrote over 100 masses in his lifetime (in addition to a wide range of other pieces), so it is not surprising that there might be some relatively overlooked. This particular mass has a more solemn tone to it, but still soars magnificently, and has no real flaws in composition.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance at its best 8 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
From the opening bars of Missa Papae Marcelli you'll understand
how the Council of Trent were moved not to ban polyphony. Also
on the disc is the Missa Aeterna Christi Munera another of 104
masses of the legacy left to us by Palestrina.
The standard of singing throughout the disc is exceptional, with
clear warm tones in all parts interweaving. Their is a real
sense of ensemble within the singers with each part giving way
as the subject darts between voices.
I heartily recomend this disc to anybody, especially those with
no experince of this master of the art of polyphony. At this price worth the experiment. For those more seasoned in Renaissance music, this disc is compares well with it's full price conterparts by groups such as The Sixteeen and The Tallis Scholars.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful is the only word 4 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The opening seconds of this cd shot straight through me the first time I heard it. They are stunningly beautiful. This is certainly the best recording of Palestrina's music available. The music comes from an age when sacred music was still, to my mind, pure and somehow distilled. The mass washes over and through your mind in waves and you cannot help but be uplifted by the intensity and clarity of expression.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Long my favourite Mass setting, Palestrina's "Missa Papae Marcelli" is one of a handful I would reach for if I were trying to convert a listener to the joys of Renaissance polyphony. It is a marvel of smooth, soaring exaltation here beautifully performed by choral stalwarts the Oxford Camerata under Jeremy Summerly, who recorded so much for Naxos in its early days when they were building up a polyphonic catalogue.

This is one two superb versions: the other is the celebrated 1980 Gimell recording by the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips, coupled with an ethereal Allegri "Miserere". The Tallis interpretation is marginally slower and steadier whereas the Naxos recording is more animated, inclined to emphasise accents and dynamically varied. I love both and decline to choose between them but the acoustic of Dorchester Abbey for the Oxford Camerata is marginally more atmospheric than that of Merton College Chapel, spacious yet also allowing details to emerge; the acoustic of the Oxford venue is grander and vaguer in effect. The Camerata are probably half the size of the Tallis ensemble but they make a rich, full sound.

The status of the work itself has been enhanced both by the enduring legend that it singly convinced the Council of Trent of the unwisdom of banning polyphony in favour of solely plainsong and by its being written for a pope whose reign lasted a mere three weeks. Its polemic function appears even more ironic if one agrees that that Palestrina subversively incorporated references to one of the most popular secular songs of the day, "L'homme armé". It is a miraculously limpid and succinct composition, the text emerging clearly and the whole sung Mass lasting only thirty-five minutes.
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