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Fanfare Magazine: 36:4 (04-04/2013)
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Code-barres / Barcode: 8711801014128 (ID279)
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Reviewer: J. F. Weber

The third installment out of six (Fanfare 35:5), these discs offer selections from Codex C (a 19th-century designation) of the set of six choir books of St. Peter’s Church in Leiden, the only such books that survived the iconoclast rampage of 1566. It dates from 1559 and, alone among the six volumes, is still kept in the city museum. These polyphonic works were collected for use in the daily Office from music both celebrated and obscure, some of the composers of local repute or unknown entirely. As we saw in the first two issues, the hard-bound accompanying book contains a detailed account of the music. Composers most represented in this volume are again Clemens non Papa and Johannes Lupi. The first disc contains nine motets, while the second has a Missa Pastores loquebantur by Cornelius Canis and an anonymous Requiem, concluding with a funeral motet ascribed to Josquin des Prez. Not chosen for inclusion on the discs are Masses by Clemens non Papa and Morales and familiar motets by Josquin des Prez. I noted the inclusion of a Magnificat by Hieronymus Vinders, who is represented in my collection only by five recordings of one motet.

This series is already an impressive testimony to the depth of talent in the Low Countries, for the minor and anonymous composers’ work in the tradition of their more famous contemporaries. The performances by the quartet of singers and the “college” of 15 singers that provide backup are admirable. Highly recommended to specialists in the Franco-Flemish period.

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