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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 September 2011
Thankyou, once again, to reviewer E.L.Wisty for steering me in the direction of this particular recording. What particularly impresses is that the musical lines are extremely clear and unmuddied, the interweaving of vocal lines shimmer tightly. This is, according to Mr Wisty, due to the fact that the Orlandos choose to have only one person singing each line; the result is that it becomes possible, with concentration, to follow one voice whilst holding the whole. Its rather like looking at a complicated, beautiful piece of multicoloured weaving, finding delight in viewing the harmoniousness of the whole, and shifting attention to each line of colour, looking at the pattern it individually makes. The listener is drawn in to a very active listening experience, rather than the passive washing over of sound. Art reaches a high level when the participants are so much in control of their technique, and so much in tune with their material, that they make what they do seem utterly effortless, hiding the joins and structure of technique. The Orlandos sing this music as if it were the easiest, and most obvious thing to do, to reach perfection.
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on 15 September 2009
This appears to be a direct reissue of the following serial disk: B00004R9F5

If this is correct, then it is one of the finest a capella renaissance choral CDs in the catalogue, a welcome return at a bargain price.
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This disc presents sixteen of Josquin's motets, totalling seventy minutes of music skilfully and beautifully sung by the excellent Orlando Consort (see also The School of Notre Dame and Machaut: Chansons).

In particular I might single out for special praise the 6 part motet "O virgo virginum", a meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation, like an aural equivalent of Rossetti's "Ecce Ancilla Domini" capturing the bewilderment of a scared young girl - "quomodo fiet istud"? - how can this possibly be? This performance of the motet is one of the most deeply moving recordings you will ever hear.

The lack of texts for the pieces in the sleeve notes is an annoyance, but at this bargain price you'd be stark raving mad not to snap up a copy of this, one of the most stunning discs of Renaissance music I have in a large collection, whilst you still can.

If you're still not convinced, listen to the MP3 snippets which for some reason have been placed on the product page for the older release here: Josquin Desprez: Motets.
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I bought this purely on the basis of the reviews on Amazon and wow what a lovely CD. Ok you have to like music of this period but if you do then you can't go wrong with this, especially at this price.

The singing is simply beautiful and the recording taken in a church in Germany is clean and clear as a bell. Put this CD on and lie back and meditate about life (or whatever else you want to meditate about!).
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on 18 June 2012
This recording was superb in technical quality as well as in the singing. It has a great deal of Josquins intense personal communication. The phrasing and rhythm is excellent and, overall, is pleasingly un-British in it's delicate warmth and subtlety of colouring. The voices are well balanced and the polyphonic clarity is virtually perfect even in close chording in the lower register. One feels that the great Josquin himself is often present in this CD.
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I bought this on a recommendation and am glad I did, It has been my companion for days. I find it easier to work and think to music without words so this suits me perfectly. Sorry I am not well versed enough to say more, all I can do is tell you that it is restful, calming, utterly beautiful music that I am getting to know better every time I play it. What skill the singers have, they hold the notes so perfectly, it is like a tapestry of sound.
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on 1 April 2013
Although I have only become seriously interested in Renaissance music in the past year I have already quite an impressive collection purchased mainly from Amazon. I have admittedly been very influenced in my purchasing by rave reviews by Messrs Wisty, Nuncius and Bruno who have between them guided me to the best recordings, to date without complaint from me. From all the discs I have purchased this recording of Josquin Desprez by the Orlando Consort is head and shoulders above any other I own. It is absolutely breathtaking with every track quite magnificent, it gives me goose pimples every time I hear it. I can't recommend it highly enough and at such a give away price it really must not be missed by anyone who loves this type of music. Buy it now before I snap up the remaining copies for gifts for friends.

I would love to know if there is a better example of Renaissance music than this outstanding disc. The only other recording that in my opinion comes anywhere close is Richafort Requiem recorded by Cinquecento.

Buy both and seriously enjoy!
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on 17 March 2010
These motets, together with the Deploration for Johannes Ockeghem, are really wonderful - especially the penultimate track, 'Huc Me Sydereo'. The recording quality is excellent and the performances fine. Only the liner notes are rather dull. Overall, highly recommended.
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This is a reissue of the Orlando Consort's Archiv disc, and a very welcome one.

The music here includes some of Josquin's finest motets - which means that it contains some of the very best music to emerge from the Renaissance. Josquin was a truly magnificent composer and these motets (including his Vultum Tuum cycle) express passion, grief, drama and serenity by turns and are above all supremely beautiful. It is fabulous music.

The Orlando Consort do it proud. Just a glance at the names of the singers here is enough to tell you that they were a first-rate ensemble: Andrew Carwood, Robert Harre-Jones, Donald (now listed as "Don") Grieg and the others are all superb singers who have for years formed the backbone of world-renowned groups like The Tallis Scholars and The Cardinall's Musick. Their performances are technically flawless and wonderfully empathetic, and the all-male line-up means that they produce a wonderfully rich sound which is muscular or tender as appropriate.

I can't fault this disc in any way. I think it stands with the finest Josquin recordings by The Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble, and now it's available at such a bargain price it's absolutely unmissable in my view. Recommended in the warmest possible terms.
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on 25 July 2013
There is nothing I can say here that the other reviewers have not already written. A brilliant CD at a very good price. Recommended.
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