WORKS: Missa Videte miraculum; Ave cuius conceptio
PERFORMER: The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood
CATALOGUE NO: CD GAU 131 DDD
In spite of several attempts by the academic community to revive Nicholas Ludford’s music over the last 100 years, we can only now look forward to a complete recording of his works. Ludford (c.1485-1557) was the most prolific composer of masses in Tudor England; in addition to 11 complete and three incomplete settings of the mass, there is evidence of three further lost masses.
In the present work, Missa Videte miraculum, the polyphonic movements alternate with passages of plainsong appropriate to the Feast of Purification. The music, preserved in the Caius Choirbook (Ms 667), has been edited by David Skinner, and Andrew Carwood and The Cardinall’s Musick amply express the richness of Ludford’s contrapuntal style in a performance which offers a fine opportunity to assess Ludford’s music afresh. The votive antiphon Ave cuius conceptio, for five voices, is a considerably later work than the mass and provides further proof of Ludford’s fluid and imaginative approach to vocal texture.
The acoustic is clear and resonant and the ensemble is as well balanced in the plainsong as it is in the polyphonic movements. High standards of both scholarship and performance make this worthy project highly recommendable. Nicholas Rast