Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Gombert, Brown, O'Keeffe|
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Classical
Expert renditions of complex works
hcf | 10/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Franco-Flemish composer Nicolas Gombert is still not very well known. But this is changing. There are quite a few great recordings of his works, and this is one of them. This recording collects some of Gombert's relatively small-scale compositions, including his best known work - Lugebat David Absalon. This piece was formerly attributed to Josquin, but Gombert's authorship is now widely accepted. Incidentally, this piece is also known as Je prens congie, and can be heard in that version on, e.g., Cordoba Vespers/Cheetham or Music from the Court of Charles V/Huelgas Ens. Lugebat David Absalon is an anguished lament of an uncommon complexity: opening with a solo voice, it quickly builds momentum until all eight voices participate, repeating and imitating the main theme. It showcases many of the distinguishing characteristics of Gombert's style: intricate imitation, long themes, absence of rests, and an abundance of low voices. The most peculiar and exciting characteristic of Gombert's writing, to me, is his precocious treatment of tonality. An example of this can be heard most clearly at the beginning of O Beata Maria, or by comparing the treatment of the same melodic motive at the beginning of Lugebat David Absalon and the Eight-Part Credo. By altering imitative responses to the introductory motives, Gombert achieves an unusual alternation between minor-sounding and major-sounding tonalities. Henry's Eight give a very clean and persuasive account of these works. --email@example.com"
Possibly the best introduction to Gombert.
Niall Fox | 09/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc was my own introduction to the music of Gombert in 1996. What struck me initially about him was the relentless nature of his polyphony, and the constant flow -did it seem like much more complex Ockeghem or much more complex Palestrina? Particularly I found it rewarding to concentrate on the voices in the middle of the texture.There is constant movement in this music, and almost a sense of impatience among the voices as if they cannot await their own particular turn to be heard.I am no musical theorist but I am delighted to observe that the name of this ,until recently, neglected musical genius is beginning to appear in sentences here and there with words like "fugue", "baroque", and "Bach"; and I personally believe that not to be misplaced. It is that type of music which yields its secrets slowly and thereafter remains for quite a while in a receptive mind. This group which,I believe, disbanded quite some time ago was comprised of splendid singers who I hope are still to be heard under other guises. As Henry's Eight they achieved a distinguished balance between dignified restraint and warm fervour, two possible requirements in Renaissance performance, not easily reconciled, which can be at odds with each other -and a lack of one can often result in an overdose of the other. Perhaps I only recommend this as an introduction to Gombert because it was that for me, but there is a sort of "happy medium " here. I have since heard Gombert in performances where choirs seem to go for the big moments(eg.Oxford Camerata), still serving the music nonetheless ; and I have heard more serene restraint(eg.Huelgas Ensemble), which ,I feel, demands more from the listener(this one at least)in that you have to concentrate more on the ever shifting texture and perceive your own high points. Henry's Eight were a small to medium sized all-male vocal ensemble with splendid voices and they seem to either do neither or both of the above -sometimes at the same time."