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Magnificat - The Tudors At Prayer - Early Music Review

01 June 2014
Early Music Review
Clifford Bartlett

Vox Patris Coelestis is an amazing work. There's something disarming when the whole first page has only two staves and the first entry of all six parts is in bar 68 of a work lasting 21' 41" in the recording. Some performances are not so heavily shaped: this is just about the limit in which expression can be imposed. I bought Early English Church Music vol. 2 (William Mundy Latin Antiphons and Psalms) in 1963 and It took me a long time to realise what to make of it. I'd never heard his Adhaevit pavimento anima mea (no translated "My soul is stuck to the pavement"!) If you like the vocal manner of the opening piece, there is no need for me to describe the others, though I will mention Quemadmodum, of which only the opening word survived but is under laid in full here. Its opening stress depends on whether it is one word or three: here the first four notes compromise by lacking stress. A fine selection of sombre mid-century music. 

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