Flos virginum

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Johannes de Sarto, Johannes Puillois, Guillaume Dufay, Johannes Touront, Johannes Martini, Johannes Roullet, John Forest, Anonymous, Johannes Brassart, Frans-Joseph Krafft

Genre:

Vocal

Label: CPO

Media Format: Super Audio CD

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: CPO777 937-2

CPO777 937-2. Flos virginum

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Trent Codices, Movement: Advenisti desiderabilis Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
Nikolaus Leopold Codex, Movement: Ave mundi spes/In Gottes Namen Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
Trent Codices, Movement: Christus surrexit Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
Trent Codices, Movement: Dies est letitie Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
Trent Codices, Movement: O beata infantia Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
Nikolaus Leopold Codex, Movement: O propugnator Anonymous, Composer
Anonymous, Composer
Stimmwerck
O rex Fridrice/In tuo adventu Johannes Brassart, Composer
Johannes Brassart, Composer
Stimmwerck
Missa S Georgii, Movement: Alleluia Guillaume Dufay, Composer
Guillaume Dufay, Composer
Stimmwerck
Anima mea liquefacta est John Forest, Composer
John Forest, Composer
Stimmwerck
Novus annus Terribilis est Frans-Joseph Krafft, Composer
Frans-Joseph Krafft, Composer
Stimmwerck
Flos virginum Johannes Martini, Composer
Johannes Martini, Composer
Stimmwerck
Flos de spina Johannes Puillois, Composer
Johannes Puillois, Composer
Stimmwerck
Laus tibi Johannes Roullet, Composer
Johannes Roullet, Composer
Stimmwerck
Romanorum rex Johannes de Sarto, Composer
Johannes de Sarto, Composer
Stimmwerck
O florens rosa Johannes Touront, Composer
Johannes Touront, Composer
Stimmwerck
CDs of 15th-century motets are thin on the ground, the tendency being to programme sacred music of this period around a Mass, with motets for punctuation. This issue from Stimmwerck proves that there’s enough variety in the repertory for it to stand alone. All the works chosen here date from the second third of the century and emanate from Habsburg-controlled territories. Most are new to the catalogue. The fact that all but one of the named composers are relative unknowns underscores the sustained level of compositional endeavour in this period: there’s not one piece here that isn’t worth hearing.

The specifically Habsburg motets by Brassart and Sarto are perhaps the most ambitious, and their full scoring makes for absorbing listening. Alongside these sit devotional pieces such as Puillois’s lovely Flos de spina (one of the few pieces to have been already recorded) and a range of settings of sacred songs of Germanic origin. An added bonus is a setting from the Mass for St George plausibly attributed to Dufay, part of a set of related works that deserves greater attention – ideally from a vocal group such as this.

For Stimmwerck’s approach is refreshingly straightforward: these are considered, elegantly executed interpretations, delivered without frills – demonstration, if any were needed, that all that this music music requires is that it be sung well. The carol-like Novus annus, for example, is immediately engaging, the quartet’s bright timbre complementing its lilting loveliness. The very final chords of de Sarto’s Romanorum rex might have done with a touch more emphasis, but otherwise Stimmwerck barely put a foot wrong. The label is to be commended, too, for bringing a hitherto obscure repertory so glowingly to life.

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