Cypriot Advent Antiphons

Cypriot Advent Antiphons
Anonymous c.1390
Huelgas Ensemble - Paul Van Nevel
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 7977 [CD]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi RD 77977 [CD]
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 88697 57584-2 [CD]


  1. Nos demoramur / O Sapientia incarnata
  2. Pictor eterne syderum / O Adonay domus Israel
  3. Cuncti fundent precamina / O radix Yesse splendida
  4. Quis igitur aperiet / O clavis David aurea
  5. Veni splendor mirabilis / Lucis eterne splendor
  6. Quis possit dignexprimere / O rex virtutum gloria
  7. Magne virtutum conditor / O Emanuel rex noster
  8. Tu nati nata suscipe / O sacra virgo virginum
  9. Homo mortalis firmiter / Hodie puer nascitur

Performers: Josep Cabré, Marie-Claude Vallin, Katelijne van Laethem (vocal soloists), Willem Bremer, Bart Coen (recorders), René van Laken (rebec, fiddle), Wim Becu, Willy Verdievel, Harry Ries (bass trombones), Jean-Yves Guerry, Anne Mertens, Nele Minten, Godfried van de Vyvere, Rika Wouters (chorus)

Playing time: 57'

Recording date: June 1989 (Leuwen); released: 1990 (7977), 2009 (57584)

This cycle of "O" Antiphons is part of the Christmas Vespers ceremony, centered around the Magnificat. In the present case, they are heavily troped, and end with a liturgical motet in a more triumphant mood.

The music itself it thoroughly isorhythmic, and heavily syncopated. The pieces form a true cycle, linked by both a sequence of modality and motivic figures. This is the most elaborate sacred section of the huge Turin manuscript (Torino, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS J. II 9), the one source for the Cypriot repertory.

A more recent recording:

Hanelle: Cypriot Vespers
Graindelavoix - Björn Schmelzer
Glossa Platinum 32112

The previous recording of this material by this ensemble:

The Cypriot 'O' Antiphons
Huelgas Ensemble - Paul van Nevel
Pavane 7146 [LP]

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Todd M. McComb