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Music for Charles VAlistair Dixon
Chapelle Du Roi
Signum Records is delighted to present Chapelle du Roi’s eleventh release with the label. This recording offers a selection of music spanning the life and reign of Charles V, undoubtedly the most powerful man in 16th-century Europe, from his early teenage years to his death in 1558.
Charles was a devout Catholic, and maintained a chapel employing some of the most notable composers of the period, including Nicolas Gombert and Thomas Crecquillon, who Charles referred to as ‘the truest Opheus of the age’. Closely identified with the Order of the Golden Fleece, which gave rise to the L’homme armé tradition, Charles V was said to have a musical ear. A great deal of music survives that is associated directly with him and his patronage – a selection of which is presented on this recording.
The music composed for rulers frequently mixed the heavenly with the secular, and a great many pieces were written to celebrate political conquests and occasions within the court. For example, Cristóbal Morales possibly wrote his Missa L'homme armé as an offering for Charles’s wedding to Isabella of Portugal.
Near the end of Charles’s reign, the young composer Orlandus Lassus was just starting his career, and seeking preferment. He offered his secular motet, Heroum Soboles to Charles in the hope that he would join the prestigious Capilla Flamenca. He was unsuccessful, however Charles’s minister, Bishop Granvelle of Arras helped Lassus to secure his position at the court of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria – a musical establishment that was no less magnificent.
The last years of Charles life were troubled by his failure to convert the Protestants back into the Roman Catholic Church, and to lead a universal Catholic empire. His death resounded throughout the Empire, and Don Fernando de las Infantas marked his passing with a setting of Parce Mihi Domine, the best-known of the texts from Matins pro defunctis.
What people are saying
|"Chapelle du Roi (14-strong here) sings with clarity, purpose and (as in Morales's Jubilate Deo) real passion"
International Record Review
|"As usual with this choir, the singing is first rate"
Chapelle du Roi
directed by Alistair Dixon
Release date: 1st Jun 2000
Order code: SIGCD019
|1.||Anon: Cantus L'homme armé||[1.01]|
|2.||Introit: Benedicta sit sancta||[4.04]|
|6.||Alleluia: Qualis pater||[10.23]|
|7.||Offertory: Benedictus sit Deus||[1.24]|
|10.||- Agnus Dei||[6.24]|
|11.||Communion: Benedicimus Deum||[1.01]|
|12.||Josquin des Pres: Ave Maria||[5.52]|
|13.||Nicolas Gombert: Qui colis Ausoniam||[6.47]|
|14.||Morales: Jubilate deo||[4.53]|
|15.||Thomas Crecquillon: Andreas Christ famulus||[5.05]|
|16.||Orlando di Lassus: Heroum soboles||[3.07]|
|17.||Don Fernando de las Infantas: Parce mihi Domine||[8.03]|
"L'uomo armato dovrebbe essere temuto, dovunque e stato proclamato che dovunque, ogni uomo dovrebbe armarsi di lettere di ferro"
Siamo all'undicesimo lavoro della Chapelle du Roi. Questa registrazione offre, dopo la serie dedicata a Thomas Tallis, delle melodie riguardanti la vita e il ragno di Carlo V, sicuramente il piu potente uomo vissuto in Europa nel sedicesimo secolo. Carlo era un devoto cattolico, e molti dei compositori come Cristobal Morales, Josquin des Pres, Nicolas Gambert, hanno realizzato dei brani per celebrare le conquiste politiche.
This program purports to bring together music that "spans the life and reign" of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, written by composers who either were especially prominent during this period (early-to-mid-1500s) or in some way were associated with Charles' court. One connection lies in the Emperor's affiliation with the chivalric Order of the Golden Fleece, among whose activities was the commissioning of music, and, as explained in the informative notes, in various ways was responsible for fostering the proliferation of the "L'homme arme" tune (a sort of Renaissance-style "Onward Christian Soldiers") and the extensive tradition of mass settings based on it, one of which--a splendid version by Morales--begins this program. Other highlights include a sublime Ave Maria by Josquin, with its stark, open-fifth ending, and Gombert's lovely, flowing motet Qui colis Ausoniam (written for the occasion of a 1533 treaty involving Charles, the Pope, and various Italian rulers). As usual with this choir, the singing is first rate, with well-maintained balances, even in the widely-spaced scoring of the Crecquillon motet and in the shifts from smaller to larger voice groupings within works. The sound is generally very good, with some harshness in the louder, upper-register soprano sections of the Crecquillon.
International Record Review, March 2005
Taking us into the sixteenth century is 'Music for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor' from Chapelle du Roi and Alistair Dixon. Charles (1500-58), Spanish King and much else besides, became the most powerful man in Europe. He was cultivated too, and valued music, employing some of the most eminent composers of the age. We get to hear six motets - several written for specific occasions in Charles's life - as well as the magnificent Missa 'L'homme arme' by Spaniard Cristobal de Morales. Chapelle du Roi (14-strong here) sings with clarity, purpose and (as in Morales's Jubilate Deo) real passion.