Rogier: Missa Domine Dominus Noster

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COMPOSERS: Rogier
LABELS: Linn
WORKS: Missa Domine Dominus Noster; Missa Domine in Virtute Tua; Motets: Domine Dominus Noster; Regina Caeli; Laudate Dominum; Videntes Stellam; Verbun Caro; Palestrina: Domine in Virtute Tua
PERFORMER: Magnificat; His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts/Philip Cave
CATALOGUE NO: CKD 348

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Philippe Rogier served at the royal court in Madrid in the 16th century, and this is a second, enterprising disc from Philip Cave devoted to his excellent music. Oddly, given the many surviving works by the composer, Cave includes the Missa Domine Dominus Noster which has already been recorded in a liturgical reconstruction by Jean Tubéry (on Ricercar). But the motet Domine Dominus Noster on which the Mass may have been based was only recently discovered in Valladolid Cathedral, and is here recorded for the first time.

Following the Spanish custom these performances accompany some of these pieces with a glorious jamboree of instruments doubling and decorating the vocal lines; this creates a particularly awesome climax in Verbum caro factum est. Of the works for three choirs, the spatial effects captured in the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men (Videntes Stellam Magi) are very effective, although the theatrical tricks are somewhat overdone, such as the instrumental blasts at the mention of their gifts. 

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Occasionally the singing can sound slightly shrill without depth or warmth, as in the unaccompanied motet Regina Caeli, though there’s adroitness here too: the word ‘Resurrexit’ conjures from them a wonderful dancing rhythm. Anthony Pryer