This Renaissance Collection features sacred music from one of the most inspired periods in the arts. Each of the European schools of composition (Italian, Flemish, German, Spanish, and English) is represented by twenty composers, offering a fascinating cross-section of styles and influences. These Masters of the Renaissance include Palestrina, hailed through the centuries as "prince and father of music" who wrote music of unsurpassed grace and beauty. Also included are Lassus, Byrd, and Victoria, as well as lesser-known composers such as Hassler, de Wert, Nanino, and many others. This set features the only existing recording of Palestrina's Missa Descendit Angelus Domini and the Missa Beatae Mariae Virginis II as well as the Missa super Bella Amfitrit’ altera by Lassus.
Premiere and Only Works
|Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina|
|Track 1-6||Missa “Descendit Angelus Domini”|
|Track 12-17||Missa Beatae Mariae Virginis II|
|Masters of the Renaissance|
|Track 5||Requiem aeternam||Anerio|
|Track 16||Eripe me||Raselius|
|Track 17||Rorate caeli||Handl|
“This group deserves all the praise it gets for its recordings and international concert tours. It's a remarkable achievement. Recommended.”
- “Gloriæ Dei Cantores is the only amateur choir I know of that can beat many a professional ensemble at their own game. Here, in a reissue from 1996, is a generous survey of luscious Renaissance choral music performed in a special venue: Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA — a restored 19th century edifice that has hosted many notable historical figures, from politicians to musicians. . . .
I've lost count of the albums I've covered from this group -- what can I say about them without sounding like a broken record? . . . Ms. Patterson is a true choral alchemist, and never fails to draw truly golden sound and beautifully nuanced singing from her hard-working musicians. Sacred illumination is their mission, and they achieve it with spiritual sincerity and power.
Recorded sound is especially ravishing, capturing Mechanics Hall's warm, yet detailed acoustic. Excellent notes and full texts.”
American Record Guide
- “This is quite an astonishing competitor to such celebrated ensembles as The Sixteen . . . This disc will greatly enlarge most collections of Renaissance motets with rare pieces of outstanding worth, sung with skill and devotion.”
— Choral Journal
- “The trick to mastering counterpoint lies in mastering it completely...herein lies the glory of this magnificent, essential release...Patterson clearly has genius in selecting just the right tempos and dynamics...serious, winning, and convincing. If we have ever had a finer Palestrina recording available, I've not heard it.”
In Tune Magazine
- “Is it possible for a mixed choir of 44 voices to sing late Renaissance and early Baroque Flemish, Italian, German, and French antico polyphony in an artistic, historically informed manner? Probably not very often—that is, unless the mixed choir in question is the Gloriæ Dei Cantores. For them, the answer is an emphatic affirmative. This group sings with the clarity and control of a carefully drilled chamber ensemble a fifth their size. Phrasing, intonation, articulation, blend, and color are precisely thought out and perfectly executed.”
The American Organist
- “They have demonstrated a polished musicality, combined with a versatile command of a wide-ranging repertoire of literature and styles...the richness and sonority is almost hypnotically beautiful. Palestrina was, after all, one of the great composers of music for grouped human voices, and there is no reason why we should not enjoy such luscious, expansive (yet stylistically sensitive) realizations of his music. Good notes; full texts and English translations. Alike to the Palestrina collector or the lover of wonderful choral sound, this release is warmly recommended.”
American Record Guide