Ensemble Vocal Européen , Philippe
Maria-Cristina Kiehr, Johanna Koslowsky (cantus), Simon Berridge, Gerd Türk (altus), Hervé Lamy, Peter Kooy (tenor), Adrian Peacock (bassus).
Playing time: 60'
Recording date: June 1993
-,  Harmonia mundi HMX 290 8016.20 Musique de la Renaissance Music - L'Europe Musicale au XVe et XVIe siècles
A cycle of 20 Italian madrigals set to poems by Luigi Tansillo centered on Peter's denial of Christ and subsequent remorse and pain; a Latin motet concludes. This is Lasso's last work, finished 3 weeks before his death and published the following year. The madrigals are set in 7 parts.François Velde
The present setting (followed by a Latin motet, added by Lassus himself) is of texts by Luigi Tansillo (1510-1568). It shows Lassus' most advanced ideas on 7-point conterpoint, and is seen by many as a sort of personal summation for his life.
In many ways, this piece marks the climax of Renaissance polyphonic development. Although there was more polyphonic composition going on in places like Spain & Portugal, those were conservative works. Here we see the last innovative contrapuntally-based ideas from a composer of the central tradition, and a path that does not lead to the Baroque.
This cycle has been well-served on recording. Other possibilities:
There is really little to compare with Lassus' use of homophony-polyphony here. The only cycle which could be called similar in any way is Le Printemps of Claude Le Jeune (c.1528-1600). There is in fact some evidence that the two composers met, and indeed Lassus set some texts of Antoine de Baïf, who was a close member of Le Jeune's circle. A fine recording of selections from that work:
Other significant recordings of Lassus featuring Herreweghe:
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To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb