Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Siglo de Oro launches its Missa Tulerunt Dominum disc

St Mary Aldermary
The glorious fan vaulting at the
church of St Mary Aldermary
The young professional choir Siglo de Oro, conductor Patrick Allies, has just released a new CD, the group's second disc, on the Delphian label which has Hieronymus Praetorius' Missa Tulerunt Dominum at its centre [see my review of the disc]. To celebrate the release, Patrick and the choir performed a programme of music from the disc on Tuesday 24 April 2018 at the church of St Mary Aldermary, a church in the City which is notable for its glorious 17th century (post Fire of London) fan vaulting.

We heard four of the motets from Erhard Bodenschatz's Florilegium Portense, and important and influential 17th century collection of motets which informed the repertoire of many early 18th century Lutheran churches, Filiae Jerusalem, nolite flere by Jacob Handl (1550-1591), O vos omnes by Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629), Deus, Deus meus by Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) and Tristis est anima mea by Orlande de Lassus (c1523-1594). The Handl, for double choir, climaxed with a glorious noise when the two choirs sang together, the singers making a strong, flexible sound. The Praetorious was similarly sonorous, whilst the Hassler gave us big blocks of sound, and the group finished with Lassus' stately sculptural motet.

The second group included Praetorius' motet Tulerunt Dominum meum and movements from the mass based on it, we hear the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The motet was by turns grave, powerful and vivid, and the movements of the mass explored all these qualities. The climaxes gave us, again a glorious noise with some wonderfully vivid singing, whilst the Sanctus was more sculptural and the Agnus Dei rather more grave and expressive.

This was a lovely opportunity to hear Praetorius' mass live, and I certainly hope that success of the CD (it was chosen as Choral and Song Album of the Month by BBC Music Magazine) will encourage other groups to explore the music of the other Praetorius.

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