Contrapunctus: Salve, Salve, Salve

Salve, Salve, Salve
Josquin’s Spanish Legacy
Contrapunctus, Owen Rees
Signum SIGCD608. 71’02

Cristóbal de Morales: Jubilate Deo omnis terra
Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Gaudeamus, Salve regina
Francisco Guerrero:Ave virgo sanctissima, Surge propera, amica mea
Josquin Desprez: Salve regina

Some of the most interesting recordings and performances of early music in the UK over the past decades has come from (generally Oxbridge) scholars whose academic research interests led them into (or kept them in) academia, many achieving high academic office. One such is Owen Rees, like many such, a former Oxbridge organ scholar. He is now Professor of Music at Oxford University and Fellow and Director of Music at The Queen’s College. His research interests are Iberian and English vocal music of the Renaissance, and his professional vocal group Contrapunctus allows this research to be presented to a wider musical audience. Their latest recording explores the influence of Josquin Desprez on Morales, Guerrero, and Victoria, the rather disparate composers united by their use of ostinato (the repetition of a motif throughout a piece), a technique inspired by Josquin.

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Baldwin Partbooks II: Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child
Music from the Baldwin Partbooks II
Contrapunctus, Owen Rees
Signum Classics SIGCD474. 75’18

Tallis: Gaude gloriosa Dei mater, Magnificat, Videte miraculum; and pieces by Taverner, White, Fayrfax, and Sheppard.

SIGCD474_HiW.jpgThe Baldwin Partbooks were copied in the 1570s and 80s by a member of the choirs of St George’s Windsor and the Chapel Royal, John Baldwin. They included printed pieces as well as Baldwin’s manuscript copies of music, from an earlier age, resulting in one of the most important surviving collections of polyphony from the reigns of Henry VIII and Mary Tudor. This, combined with a focus on music dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is the focus of the music on this volume, the second in the Contrapunctus series on music of the Baldwin Partbooks (the first was In the Midst of Life, SIGCD408).  Continue reading