Capella de la Torre – Vidi Speciosam: A Lady Mass From The 16th Century (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:13 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © deutsche harmonia mundi
The present recording reconstructs the sound of a Marian Mass in a Spanish convent towards the end of the 16th century: plainchant performed by women’s voices alternates with polyphonic works featuring a combination of women’s voices and instruments, together with a number of instrumental movements.
If we are to believe the archives of the Inquisition – and they knew a thing or two about partying – music played too big a role in a number of convents in the early Renaissance. Of course, plain-chant had always been a part of the liturgy, but it seems that the nuns were overstepping the mark and getting into playing all manner of contemporary music. This should hardly come as a surprise, as well-bred young women enjoyed a broad culture on the one hand, and their religious duties didn’t take up so much time, leaving them with a lot of time to dedicate to less-holy activities on the other. These concerts were given in convent schools; but they were big draws. There was a limit to their musical possibilities: no male voices, of course, so the nuns had no choice but to give the tenor and bass parts to deeper instruments, which they would play themselves, such as bassoons or trombones. This album contains the movements that make up the full mass, mostly from the works of Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611). But this is not an attempt to reproduce a particular mass: the documentation in those days wasn’t precise enough to allow that. Rather, it is an “imaginary mass” from Renaissance Spain, with responses and plainsong interspersed among richly polyphonic movements. Of course, we only hear women’s voices, as well as some purely-instrumental pieces. The album closes with Adorámoste Señor by Francisco de la Torre (1483-1507), which is almost a century older than the pieces by Victoria de la Torre from whom the ensemble Capella de la Torre took its name.
01 – Augustine Bassano: Pavan, VdGS No. 1
02 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Asperges me, ITV 11
03 – Gregorian chant: Introitus Gaudeamus omnes in domino
04 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Vidi speciosam, ITV 91: I. Kyrie
05 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Vidi speciosam, ITV 91: II. Gloria
06 – Gregorian chant: Lectio de Sancta Maria Virgine
07 – Gregorian chant: Graduale Propter veritatem
08 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Vidi speciosam, ITV 91: III. Credo
09 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Antiphon Alma redemptoris mater
10 – Gregorian chant: Offertorium Asumpta est Maria
11 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Vidi speciosam, ITV 91: IV. Sanctus & Benedictus
12 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Ave Maria
13 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Missa Vidi speciosam, ITV 91: V. Agnus Dei
14 – Gregorian chant: Communio Optimam partem elegit
15 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Regina caeli laetare à 5, ITV 119
16 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Regina caeli laetare à 8, ITV 120
17 – Gregorian chant: Hymnus Ave maris stella
18 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Quam pulchri sunt, ITV 114
19 – Tomás Luis de Victoria: Magnificat octavi toni, ITV 71
20 – Francisco de la Torre: Adorámoste Señor
Produced by Jürgen Rummel. Engineered by Andreas Fischer.
Recorded on June 7–9, 2017 at Klosterkirche Auhausen.