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Classical - Released April 10, 2015 | ECM New Series

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Qobuzissime - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released June 19, 2009 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
Did Michelangelo Rossi (1601-1656) know Gesualdo's madrigals? One might well ask how much the composer-murderer influenced Rossi, who also pushed chromatism, dissonance, and wild modulations to the limit: a kind of musical mannerism which could be mistaken for the work of a 21st-century composer who had turned their hand to old-style madrigals using avant-garde composing techniques. Once again, it's the Huelgas Ensemble who bring us this beautiful handful of exceptional madrigals, recorded in public concert – it's a testament to the quality of the ensemble that we don't hear a single bum note, a real tour de force. The selection takes in some of the most excessive pieces in terms of deviant harmonies, outlaw dissonances, and all manner of delicious and stupefying incongruities. Frankly, it would be no exaggeration to say that Rossi is the worthy heir and equal of Gesualdo. But note: don't confuse this Rossi with Salomone Rossi or Luigi Rossi, both from the same baroque era, and absolutely not with one Tino… © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 28, 2017 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in August 1572 did not bring only death and desolation: on 5 September of this dark year, Pope Gregory XIII had the massacre celebrated as a liberation of the kingdom of France, and requested a Te Deum to be sung to thank God for saving the Most Christian French King from the heretics. The ensemble Huelgas has decided to explore the French Protestant music of that period (including that of composer Jacques Goudimel who was one of the victims of the ongoing murderous rage who had begun in Paris, but went on throughout France for another month or so, in Lyon in Goudimel’s case), but also that of Catholics who applauded the anti-Huguenot frenzy of the Pope. This album, a superb overview of sixteenth-century music, is divided in three parts: psalms set to music by several Huguenot musicians (with the texts by Clément Marot and Theodore de Beze taken from the famous Genevan Psalter published by Calvin), the papal rejoicings including a piece by Palestrina, and finally the profane and the sacred works in the Huguenot world. The Huelgas ensemble offers a deep insight on music, vocal and instrumental, on both sides of the Reformation in these troubled times. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 19, 2015 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released July 14, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Choc de Classica
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Classical - Released May 24, 2019 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Without the help of blaring drums or castanets, culture-filled aesthete Paul van Nevel gives the opportunity to hear the music that Christopher Columbus heard during his travels and adventurous life. This has resulted in a rigorous selection of (many unknown) a capella works, by Italian and Spanish composers from the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Beginning with childhood memories of Christopher Columbus (a carnival song evoking an erotic joke about chimney sweeps), the album ends with pieces by Agricola most likely heard by the navigator at the end of his final voyage in 1506. This virtual musical journey begins in 15th century Venice and reaches the court of Ferdinand and Isabella in Madrid, Seville, Cordoba and Valladolid. This offers an exciting programme benefitting from the exceptional quality of singers of the Huelgas Ensemble, specialised in medieval and Renaissance polyphony and founded in 1971 by Paul van Nevel. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 16, 2018 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Francesca Caccini was one of the leading musical figures at the Medici court in the first half of the 17th century. Even today it is still unusual for a woman to be equally successful as a professional singer, a published composer and a singing teacher. La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina was commissioned by Maria Maddalena of Austria, who married Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici in 1608, and was written to be performed on the occasion of a visit by Crown Prince of Poland. A single extravagantly staged performance took place on 3 February 1625, ending with an equestrian ballet performed by no fewer than twenty-four horsemen. Like most Italian operas dating from that time, La Liberazione requires today’s musicians to take several important decisions. For one, the score contains two passages where Caccini explicitly demands music that is not found in the score. The missing passages have been completed with music by Caccini’s contemporary Salomone Rossi, taken from his Primo libro delle sinfonie e gagliarde. Another decision concerns the instruments. The ones that were used during the 1625 performance are indicated in a number of stage directions and offer us a good idea of the sort of instruments that were available to the composer. Even so, it is not always possible to follow them to the letter. The instruments used to realize the thoroughbass are not listed. Just as the composer allotted a particular key to each of the three main roles, so the Huelgas Ensemble have retained the same instrumental colour for each of these parts. Alcina is always accompanied by strings and mostly also by a virginal. Ruggiero is accompanied by four recorders, while the bass is sometimes doubled by a viol or a Baroque trombone. Melissa is accompanied by a lira da gamba, a virginal and a bass instrument. And Neptune is accompanied by three trombones intended to lend further emphasis to his masculine strength. The score of La Liberazione di Ruggiero is notable for its rapid shifts between vivid recitatives with different accompaniments, extremely melodious arias, lively choral movements in the form of canzonettas and madrigals sung by constantly changing forces, including ladies of the court, demons, enchanted trees, liberated knights and, in the final madrigal, the assembled company, and colourful instrumental sinfonias, ritornellos and intermedi. The historical stage directions also contain a number of notes on the instrumentation. These leave the modern interpreter in no doubt that the continuo needs to be realized in the most colourful way imaginable. As for the tonality, the work is laid out along carefully structured lines, each of the solo roles having its own distinctive tonality. A very modern way of dealing with characterizations. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 15, 2002 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released May 21, 1993 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released April 15, 2013 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released October 16, 2015 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released April 19, 2002 | Sony Music Media

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Classical - Released September 23, 2000 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released December 7, 2012 | deutsche harmonia mundi

The Eton Choirbook is a precious collection of liturgical musical Latin manuscripts compiled at the end of the 15th century, one of the rare documents to have survived the ravages of the Anglican Reformation. Now, it hasn't survived in its entirety, but it does contain several dozen pieces, a few of which only exist in this single manuscript. In those days, the Choir of Eton College (an ultra-elite establishment across the way from Windsor Castle) was all boys – the students, so sopranos and altos – and some men with deeper voices; and recently a few women have joined in on occasion, from outside the ranks of the all-male school. The Huelgas Ensemble has asked their women singers – there are no young boys in this marvellous ensemble – to help retain the sound of the originals by reproducing boys' voices: slightly acid, smooth, without vibrato. It's a complete success, not least as these ladies run no risk of their voices breaking, or the little errors that are so common in even the best-trained boys' choirs. In other words, this is a magnificent recording. We can only regret that the Huelgas have only taken 60 pieces from the manuscript! But the selection is very judicious, offering pieces for 5, 6, 7, and even 9 singers. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released May 20, 2011 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released February 11, 2013 | Pavane Records

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Classical - Released July 28, 1995 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released March 9, 2001 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released July 28, 2017 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released April 22, 2016 | deutsche harmonia mundi