Lassus: Requiem & Prophetiae Sibyllarum

Lassus: Missa pro defunctis / Prophetiae Sibyllarum
Hilliard Ensemble
ECM 1658 [CD]
ECM 289 453 8412 2 [CD]


    Missa pro defunctis (1578)
  1. Responsorium: Memento mei Deus
  2. Introitus
  3. Kyrie
  4. Graduale
  5. Offertorium
  6. Sanctus & Benedictus
  7. Agnus Dei
  8. Communio
  9. Antiphona: In paradisum

  10. Prophetiae Sibyllarum (c.1555)
  11. Carmina Chromatico
  12. Sibylla Persica
  13. Sibylla Libyca
  14. Sibylla Delphica
  15. Sibylla Cimmeria
  16. Sibylla Samia
  17. Sibylla Cumana
  18. Sibylla Hellespontiaca
  19. Sibylla Phrygia
  20. Sibylla Europaea
  21. Sybilla Tiburtina
  22. Sibylla Erythraea
  23. Sibylla Agrippa

Performers: David James (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump (tenor), John Potter (tenor), Gordon Jones (baritone)

Playing time: 63'

Recording date: November 1993 (Chichester)

The Requiem mass here is particularly grave, and a nicely declamatory setting of the time.

The Prophetiae Sibyllarum are among Lassus' most adventurously chromatic compositions, and apparently date to early in his life, shortly before he took up his post in Munich. The legends of the Sibyl prophetesses has an origin in antiquity, and certainly flourished at least in music in the medieval era. Lassus' setting marks something of the end of the phenomenon, although it did continue in more isolated Mediterranean areas. The tuning in the present performance is especially attentive, providing a good sense of motivation for the sequence of chords.

Another recording featuring the present Missa pro defunctis:

Lassus: Music for Holy Week and Easter Sunday
Pro Cantione Antiqua - Bruno Turner & Mark Brown
Hyperion 66321/2 (2 CDs)

And others devoted to the Sibyl prophecies:

Lassus: Oracula
Prophetiae Sibyllarum / Lectiones Sacrae
Ensemble Daedalus
Alpha 095
Lassus: Prophetiae Sibyllarum
De Labyrintho - Walter Testolin
Stradivarius 33762
Lassus: Prophetiae Sibyllarum
Italienische madrigales / Französische chansons
Cantus Cölln - Konrad Junghänel
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77304
Lassus: The Sibylline Prophecies / The Penitential Psalms
Pro Arte Singers - Thomas Binkley
Focus 842 (LP)
Lassus: Prophetiae Sibyllarum / Moresche
Münchener Vocalsolisten & Flötenconsort - Hans Ludwig Hirsch
Teldec 3984 21710

Earlier recordings by the present ensemble devoted to Lassus:

Lassus: Motets & Chansons
Hilliard Ensemble - Paul Hillier
Virgin Edition 61166
Lassus: Penitential Psalms
Hilliard Ensemble - Paul Hillier
Virgin Edition 61216 (2 CDs)

Finally, unique sacred piece from Lassus' huge & varied output:

Lassus: St. Matthew Passion
Theatre of Voices - Paul Hillier
Harmonia Mundi USA 907076

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Todd M. McComb