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Brewer
American Record Guide, June 2007

There is much to recommend this anthology of music by the Flemish composer Nicolas Gombert, who spent most of his career in the service of Emperor Charles V in Spain. His skill as a composer was admired by many of his contemporaries, and the Monteverdi Mass In Illo Tempore is based on one of his motets.

The mixture of sacred works and secular works distinguishes this release from earlier collections that were exclusively devoted to Masses (and Mass movements), Magnificats, and motets (Mar/Apr 1991, Nov/Dec 1997, Mar/Apr 2002, Jan/Feb 2003). In addition to five motets and a Magnificat, Urquhart includes 10 of Gombert's French chansons, compositions also highly regarded by his contemporaries that have been poorly represented on recordings. And the performances are all to the highest standards, from the richness and clarity of the choral singing to the blend of soprano Noel Bisson with The Woodman Consort of Viols in seven of the chansons.

This recording offers a multivalent view of Gombert that has been missing in earlier performances; it should be added to the collection of anyone interested in the "lost generation" of composers between Josquin and Palestrina.



J.F. Weber
Fanfare, June 2007

"The chansons are uniformly new to disc, for I cannot find a single title in my collection or in the last Bielefelder Katalog. Noteworthy is O malheureuse journée, one of two sung by the Capella, an extended song for five voices that expresses a bleak but unexplained despair. Urquhart's notes, which clarify the difference between the liturgical and paraliturgical motets on the disc, are succinct but informative, and all the sources of first publication are noted. He also points out the effective use of cross-relations to support the meaning of the text at the climax of Tous les regretz. Certainly this program was worth waiting for. The sound captured in a Portsmouth, NH, church is vivid in a natural, unobtrusive way. The price makes this even more desirable."




William Yeoman
Limelight Magazine, May 2007

The nine-strong Capella Alamire projects both texts and music [of the opening Salve Regina] with great clarity; the subtle use of dynamics further assists the listener to distinguish over-arching shapes and motivic variations. The chansons are equally beguiling, the use of viols in place of voices (either option is sanctioned by authentic performance practice) lending a deceptive simplicity to the writing by foregrounding the singer. Noël Bisson’s soprano is sweet and affecting, with a boyish quality…Recorded sound is excellent; director Peter Urquhart’s booklet notes are a model of clarity and concision.



Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, April 2007

This is a very nice collection of sacred and secular pieces by Nicolas Gombert, a composer who wrote during the period that separated Josquin from Palestrina and who should really get more attention than he does. The Capella Alamire sings gorgeously, as usual. Every early music collection should own a copy of this disc.



Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, April 2007

This is a very nice collection of sacred and secular pieces by Nicolas Gombert, a composer who wrote during the period that separated Josquin from Palestrina and who should really get more attention than he does. The Capella Alamire sings gorgeously, as usual. Every early music collection should own a copy of this disc.

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2:04:10 PM, 29 July 2014
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