Manchicourt¥Richafort

COMPOSERS: Manchicourt,Richafort
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Manchicourt,Richafort
WORKS: Missa ‘Cuidez vous que Dieu nous faille’; Manificat secundi toni; Peccantem me quotidie; Osculetur me; Ne reminiscaris, Domine; Regina caeliCuidez vous que Dieu nous faille
PERFORMER: Brabant Ensemble/Stephen Rice
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67604
It’s a great pity there is next to nothing by the 16th-century French composer Pierre de Manchicourt on disc. He wrote well over 100 works, and eventually became master of the chapel of Philip II of Spain. Contemporary writers such as Rabelais and Guicciardini placed him amongst the great composers of their age. This well-selected collection places Manchicourt

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firmly on the musical map.

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The centrepiece of the recording, the Cuidez vous Mass, is an inspired choice. From the clamorous lines of the opening Kyrie with their spicy harmonic clashes, through the superbly portrayed dramas of the Credo, and into the quieter realms of the Sanctus and Agnus, this choir is never less than energised and sure-footed. In the Regina Caeli motet, though, a little less speed and force might have revealed more details, and although the spacious acoustic is very effective, it slightly softens the rhythmic concision in some of the duet sections. But this is a nimble, nicely balanced choir of two or three voices to a part which, at its best, is very moving and compelling – as in the marvellously reflective and musically impressive motet on sin, Peccantem me quotidie. Anthony Pryer