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SIG 015
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SIG 015

The Clerk's Group - Brussels 5557

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2007

Originally recorded in 2007

Artists:

Edward Wickham


The Clerks Group



Venue:

St Andrews Church, West Wratting

26 & 27 May 1999

Producer:

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood



Engineer:

Mike Clements



Record Label
Signum

Genre:

Renaissance




Total Time - 68:34
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ANONYMOUS

1 

Kyrie Deus creator omnium - Sarum Chant

2:20
 

WALTER FRYE

(d.1475)
 

Missa Flos Regalis (a,b,d-g)

 
2 Gloria 6:28
3 Credo 7:01
4 Sanctus 7:16
5 Agnus Dei 6:06
   
 

JOHN BEDYNGHAM

(1422-60)
6 

Myn hertis lust (c,d,f)

2:16
7 

Fortune alas (b,d,e)

1:55
8 

Mi verry joy (c,d,e)

3:43
   
 

WALTER FRYE

9 

Alas, alas, alas (b,e,f)

3:22
   
10 

So ys emprentid (b,d,e)

2:49
   
 

ANONYMOUS

11 

Pryncesse of youthe (c,d,e)

2:27
   
 

JOHN PLUMMER

(d. c. 1487)
 

Missa Sine nomine (b-f)

 
12 Kyrie omnipotens pater 4:32
13 Gloria 4:28
14 Credo 4:35
15 Sanctus 4:41
16 Agnus Dei 4:35


Masses by Frye and Plummer from the Brussels 5557 manuscript.

The manuscript Brussels 5557 was probably compiled for the marriage of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and Margaret of York in July 1468. A number of illuminations, including one at the start of Missa Flos Regalis, develop a theme of chastity and fidelity which accords with the nuptial spirit.

However, the music itself belongs to the 1450s or even earlier. These masses are the late-bottled vintage of a style which, in a poem of circa 1440, Martin le Franc refers to as ’la contenance angloise’. They are harmonically rich and fruity, but built to last.

The two masses on this recording are complemented by motets by a thiurd English composer, John Bedyngham.

 

"...The clerks’ Group score big points with this recording. I am always impressed with the way they balance precision and polished vocal blend in the most difficult music. I’m sure Edward Wickham would say otherwise, but unlike other groups singing this music, the Clerks’ Group don’t seem to break a sweat."

Craig Zeichner

Goldberg - Winter 2000




*****
You wouldn't think it from this recording, but this is not easy music to sing. Not the notes, but finding the natural ebb and flow of the music itself can be difficult. And without this sense of shape, the music can easily degenerate into an awful lot of notes. The Clerk's Group bring a shapeliness and ease to this repertoire that was admired, at the time, on the continent precisely for its warm melodious style. If you are afraid that medieval church music is going to be 'difficult', prepare for a most agreeable surprise.
R Conroy