Heinrich Isaac, Cantica Symphonia, Guiseppe Maletto - Missa Misericordias Domini & Motets

Published Monday 4th January 2016
Heinrich Isaac, Cantica Symphonia, Guiseppe Maletto - Missa Misericordias Domini & Motets
Heinrich Isaac, Cantica Symphonia, Guiseppe Maletto  - Missa Misericordias Domini & Motets

STYLE: Choral
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159714-25987
LABEL: Glossa GCDP31908

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

When I reviewed Italy's Cantica Symphonia's recording of Dufay's 'The Masses For 1453' I observed that while it was a good release it was probably too specialised for the general listener. Well, here we go again. With Heinrich Isaac, Giuseppe Maletto and Cantica Symphonia turn their attention to one of the most influential Franco-Flemish composers of the Renaissance, presenting a hitherto unrecorded mass setting, his 'Missa Misericordias Domini', and a selection of motets. Isaac was born in 1455, trained in Flanders and eventually took up employment in Italy where he worked for Lorenzo de Medici in Florence. On Lorenzo's death Isaac was then taken on by the Emperor Maximilian I in Vienna before eventually returning to Florence where he died in 1517. This new recording offers a rare chance today of appreciating the music of this extraordinarily prolific composer, often unfairly (as he was in his own time) obscured by the shadow cast by his near-contemporary Josquin Desprez, in interpretations which the sextet of long-experienced singers of Cantica Symphonia handle with typical skill. If the 'Missa Misericordias Domini' ultimately owes its theme to an Italian secular song, a frottola (and Guido Magnano, in his booklet essay, explains this choice), the motets here including "O decus Ecclesiae", "Quae est ista" and "Inviolata" are resolutely Marian devotional works; some recorded also for the first time. The established special colouring of Cantica Symphonia's work is maintained here by the use in some of the motets of instruments of the time, notably fiddles, sackbuts and slide trumpets. If you have completed your collection of Desprez and want something similar then Isaac is a good choice but for the general listener I say it again: this is probably too specialist to grab your attention.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. 01 Ave Regina Caelorum [Listen]
2. 02 Ave Ancilla Trinitatis [Listen]
3. 03 Kyrie Missa Misericordias Domini [Listen]
4. 04 Gloria Missa Misericordias Domini [Listen]
5. 05 Credo Missa Misericordias Domini [Listen]
6. 06 Sanctus Missa Misericordias Domini [Listen]
7. 07 Agnus Dei Missa Misericordias Domini [Listen]
8. 08 Inviolata [Listen]
9. 09 Sub Tuum Praesidium [Listen]
10. 10 Rogamus Te [Listen]
11. 11 Quae Est Ista [Listen]
12. 12 O Decus Ecclesiae [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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