WORKS: Missa In manus tuas
PERFORMER: Orchestra of the Renaissance/Michael Noone
CATALOGUE NO: GCD 921405
Sebastián de Vivanco had the misfortune to be born in the same town at around the same time as one of the most towering figures of Renaissance music, Tomás Luis de Victoria – an accident of birth which has resulted in his almost total neglect beyond specialist circles.
The Orchestra of the Renaissance aims to set the record straight in this premiere recording of Vivanco’s sumptuous eight-part Missa In manus tuas and several of his motets – ranging from brilliantly scored celebratory works to more intimate devotional pieces. The performances reveal a composer of great contrapuntal ingenuity who synthesised the serene spirituality of Palestrina with a bold harmonic style and intricate, animated rhythms.
Since it was customary in many Spanish cathedrals to use wind instruments in sacred music, the Orchestra of the Renaissance combines its modest 11-voice choir with a battery of shawms, sackbutts, cornett and dulcian, to create a sound that is at once voluptuous and detailed. The combination of musicians who are thoroughly conversant with the idiom and painstaking historical research (a glimpse of which is offered in the copious CD notes) makes the perfect marriage of scholarship and performance practice. Kate Bolton