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Palestrina Vol. 3 (Harry Christophers, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers) (Coro: COR16106)

4 customer reviews

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THE SIXTEEN

After thirty-one years of worldwide performance and recording, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. Comprising both choir and period-instrument orchestra, The Sixteen’s total commitment to the music it performs is its greatest distinction. A special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, ... Read more in Amazon's The Sixteen Store

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Palestrina Vol. 3 (Harry Christophers, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers) (Coro: COR16106) + Palestrina Volume 2 (The Sixteen/ Harry Christophers) (Coro: COR16105) + Palestrina: Volume 1 (Harry Christophers | The Sixteen) (Coro: COR16091)
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Product details

  • Conductor: Harry Christophers
  • Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • Audio CD (28 Jan. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Coro
  • ASIN: B00ABQM4PW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,282 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina | Stabat Mater a 8
2. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina | Regina caeli a 8
3. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina | Hymn | Ad caenam agni provide
4. Missa Regina caeli
5. Offertories for the Easter period | Confitebor tibi Domine
6. Offertories for the Easter period | Terra tremuit
7. Offertories for the Easter period | Improperium exspectavit cor meum
8. Song of Songs, nos. 4-6 | Vineam meam non custodivi
9. Song of Songs, nos. 4-6 | Si ignores te, O pulchra inter mulieres
10. Song of Songs, nos. 4-6 | Pulchrae sunt genae tuae

Product Description

Product Description

A towering figure in Renaissance polyphony, Palestrina is arguably one of the greatest composers of Liturgical music of all time. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen continue their exploration of his work with a disc of music for the Easter period.

Many of the works on this new recording celebrate the joyful part of Easter - the Resurrection - and the central mass on this disc is the wonderfully inspired Missa Regina caeli. The Mass is based on the well-known, immediately recognisable, plainchant Antiphon Regina caeli and the recording also includes the 8-voice motet of the same name.

As with volumes 1 and 2 this disc also includes three of Palestrina's settings of the Song of Songs alongside three offertories for the Easter period and the hymn Ad caenam agni provide.

This disc would not be complete, however, without the exquisite 8-voice Stabat Mater - possibly Palestrina's most famous piece in current times and a work that emphasises the other side of the Easter story - the agony and pain of the Crucifixion.

Review

In the third of their Palestrina series, the Sixteen have chosen music for Easter. They open with the eight-voice Stabat Mater, written c1590 for the papal choir to sing in Holy Week. The subject the grieving mother at the foot of the cross is all the more anguished in this unadorned double-choir setting, sung with full, pure tone and welcome momentum. In addition to Song of Songs settings and Easter offertories, the main work is the Missa Regina Caeli, which Palestrina wrote near the end of his life, when he longed to retire and give over his soul "in contemplation of the Divine". The Sixteen have their own divine qualities, generously on display here. --Guardian,17/03/13

Throughout the 20 verses meditating on Mary's feelings at the cross, every ounce of implied drama, of unsettled feeling, and of deep reflection is brought to bear on a performance of superbly crafted form, nuanced dynamics, overlapping phrasing and effortless tuning. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Awards issue'13

The Sixteen's Palestrina cycle may just be a classic in the making. --Gramophone, May'13

It is in the Song of songs we find The Sixteen and Christophers at their most subtly beguiling, the rich imagery of the texts-vineyards, flocks of sheep and goats, cheeks, beautiful as doves - and Palestrina's classical, understated word painting brought out with a graceful, mellifuous sonority and supple phraising. --IRR, July /Aug'13

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Amano-Langtree on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD
The Sixteen really hit their stride with the third volume of their Palestrina series. Whilst the other two have been technically competent they have lacked that something extra that one normally expects from this choir. Not so this volume which starts off with the Stabat Mater and also includes some of the not so common offertories. It finishes with a sublime Missa Regina Caeli. Easily their best Palestrina to date.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By simone belcampo on 5 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vol. 2 was better than Vol 1, and Vol 3 is up there with Vol 2.
It's English singing - a sensible relationship with God - but intonation and flexibility excellent,
and the male voices especially strong and pleasing. This is an excellent series. Keep going HC!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By germol on 11 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you like classical music and enjoy tranquility you will love this CD. Would highly recommend this music.

Have enjoyed listening to this
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1 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Susan Reed on 25 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i am sure the music is divine, but I cannot get this CD to play. Not sure how to handle!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another sterling performance of Palestrina by The Sixteen 8 Mar. 2013
By Kenneth Bergman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Giovanni Pierluigi of Palestrina was a prolific composer of the Sixteenth Century; mostly he set sacred texts to music, although he also composed madrigals of a secular nature. He spent most of his life in Rome, composing masses, motets, and other religious works for church use. Late in his life he arranged for publication of many of his manuscripts, but many more were not published until years, even centuries, after his death in 1594.

Early in his career, Palestrina studied with German composers then living in Italy and learned their contrapuntal techniques. As a result, he became the first Italian composer to wed northern European counterpoint with Italian cantabile style, which was later widely imitated by other composers, both Italian and non-Italian. Counterpoint is woven into most of the selections on this CD, the third that The Sixteen have produced of Palestrina's music.

This CD focuses on music for the Easter cycle, leading off with Stabat Mater for eight vocal lines. This is one of Palestrina's best known works and is beautifully performed here. After a hymn with antiphons, three settings of verses from the Song of Songs, attributed to King Solomon but actually written centuries later, follow. (The first three songs are on Volume 2.) There are three offertories for Easter. The volume concludes with an Easter mass: "Missa Regina Caeli," based in part on a motet of the same name.

The Sixteen (actually, 18 voices are noted in the brochure) handle the complexities of this contrapuntal music adroitly and with beautiful singing in a polished performance. My favorite selections are the Stabat Mater and the three songs, but all this music is glorious, and sung gloriously. The sound quality, recorded in 2012, is outstanding. The enclosed brochure is informative about Palestrina and about the selections on this disk. A translation of the Latin verses is included, along with info about the Sixteen and their director, Harry Christophers. If you like Palestrina's sacred a cappella music, you'll love this volume and the preceding two volumes as well. (Vol. 3 is also available as an MP3 download.)
Palestrina at his very best 2 July 2014
By David Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you love early music then this series is a must have. I love Palestrina and his church music and this group has the musicianship to take this music to the heights you will fall in love with.
Beautiful Voices 2 Mar. 2014
By Translator - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Review for volumes 1-4: Would have given 5 stars but the recording engineers have tin ears. The chant sections are cut off before the reverberation is complete. This happens throughout volumes 1-4 for the most part. Why in the world would they do that? Baffling… I would have expected better from Classic FM. That distraction aside, the performance is flawless and crisp as can be.
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