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LABELS: Ricercar
WORKS: Messe de requiem pour Marie de Médicis; Trois antiennes mariales
PERFORMER: Namur La Fenice Chamber Choir/Jean Tubéry
While Hayne’s obscurity may be due to historical oversight, his qualities as a composer are uneven. Best here are three Marian anthems with delightfully dancing ‘Alleluia’s ending ‘Regina coeli’, and all but the tenor line given to the rich sonority of trombones in ‘Ave regina’, a prayer for forgiveness spiced with wittily sinful harmonic clashes.


The Requiem of 1643, self-consciously antiquated in style, is a sometimes rather aimless parody of high-Renaissance counterpoint enlivened by some madrigalian descriptions – fierce vocal tone and strident trombones for the lion’s mouth and the abyss of eternal darkness. La Fenice varies the colours with brass and cornets, the choir with solo-voiced sections, most appealingly in the Agnus Dei ending with voices falling gently to rest over a long-held pedal note below.

One exemplary feature is intonation. The continuo organ is tuned to a particularly gentle temperament (mean-tone? – the booklet is not explicit), which generates wonderful sonorities particularly at cadences. I noticed it first from trombones in an introductory four-part Sinfonia by Biagio Marini, and two organ fantasias confirm the origin of this pervading warmth.


Helpful scholarly notes lack translations of the text – a pity, as the Requiem rite in Hayne’s Liège differed significantly from the more familiar Roman usage. George Pratt