LABELS: Teldec Das Alte Werk
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Magnificat
PERFORMER: Chanticleer/Joseph Jennings
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-81829-2
With an already distinguished list of recordings to their credit, the award-winning a cappella male choir Chanticleer now turns its attention to music written in homage of the Virgin Mary. This is an outstanding disc whose perfect match of timbre and blend in each piece highlights with more than impressive eloquence the extraordinary emotional range this theme inspired in Renaissance composers around the world.
Chanticleer’s mellifluous singing in the plainsong items, and in Taverner’s alternatim setting of the Magnificat, illuminates the close affinity between chant and polyphony. Heavenly renderings of Monteverdi’s richly scored ‘Stabat virgo’ and ‘Maria, quid ploras’ touch the heart of the Virgin’s grief following her Son’s crucifixion.
Two works by Valery Titóv (a singing clerk in the 17th-century Russian court) are of special interest. Here, Chanticleer paints the composer’s directly expressive setting of the text in ‘The Angel Cried Out’ and ‘O thou Joy’ with uplifting and resplendent opulence. The ensemble’s brilliant luminescence in Victoria’s ‘Regina caeli’ and transparent purity in ‘Alma redemptoris mater’ strike a more intimate tone. Meanwhile, Chanticleer’s exquisite poise in Palestrina’s ‘Ave regina caelorum’ and the two Josquin pieces brings us closer to the Virgin, most touchingly in the expansive and plaintive ‘Salve regina’. Nicholas Rast