Gombert: Missa Tempore paschali

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COMPOSERS: Gombert
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: Missa Tempore paschali
PERFORMER: Henry’s Eight/Jonathan Brown
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 66943
This disc is the second in a projected cycle sung by Henry’s Eight of the rich-scored, expressive music of Nicolas Gombert. The main work, Missa Tempore paschali, is circumstantially assigned to the earlier part of Gombert’s colourful career. It is a magnificent piece, expanding from its initial six-part texture to eight parts in the Credo and to twelve in the second Agnus Dei.

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The mass sequence is interrupted by three equally striking, harmonically and melodically expressive motets – ‘Adonai, Domine Iesu Christe’, ‘In illo tempore’ and ‘O rex gloriae’. The first work, the Magnificat octavi toni, cleverly achieves a sense of climax by adding one voice-part to each polyphonic verse. Beautifully poised singing throughout. Stephen Pettitt