Magazine article Gramophone

Brumel

Magazine article Gramophone

Brumel

Article excerpt

Brumel

Missa de Beata Virgine. Ave caelorum domina.

Beata es, Maria. Lauda Sion salvatorem. Nato canunt omnia

The Brabant Ensemble / Stephen Rice

Hyperion [F] CDA68065 (64' * DDD * T/t)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The precise date of Antoine Brumel's death is not known but its 500th anniversary may well have fallen about the time The Brabant Ensemble made this recording last year. Its centrepiece is his Mass for the Blessed Virgin, which a slightly later theorist reported having been written in a spirit of friendly competition with Josquin. In this story Brumel came up short--but he was bound to do so, such was the later 16th century's cult of his rival. In fact it is one of Brumel's finest works, in which his tendency to note-spinning is kept in check (as it is in the rest of the music chosen for this recording). The Brabants negotiate it briskly, and though one might envisage a more lyrical, expansive approach (as has often been adopted for Josquin's setting), their incisive reading communicates something of the essential difference between the two settings, redressing the balance in Brumel's favour. …

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