Classical CD Reviews

PHILIPP SCHONDORFF: 5 choral works; PHILLIPPE DE MONTE: 3 choral works – Cinquecento – Hyperion

Two more composers from the Renaissance well worth their salt.

Published on March 28, 2012

PHILIPP SCHONDORFF: 5 choral works; PHILLIPPE DE MONTE: 3 choral works – Cinquecento – Hyperion

PHILIPP SCHONDORFF: Missa Usquequo Domine; Magnificat sexti toni; Te decet hymnus; Veni Sancti Spiritus; Missa super La dolce vista; PHILLIPPE DE MONTE: Usquequo Domine oblivisceris me; Magnificat quarti toni; La dolce vista della donna mia – Cinquecento – Hyperion CDA67854 60:02 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:

Where do these Renaissance composers keep coming from? As soon as it feels like the market is saturated along comes an inevitably fine group singing inevitably fine music by an inevitably unknown composer—at least to modern audiences. Philipp Schondorff was a chorister in the Royal Chapel, an all-around complete musician of the type found in the Middle Ages–he played trumpet, composed, sang, and taught. Phillippe de Monte was the director of many musicians in the same court (Prague) and most likely taught Schondorff. Schondorff’s mass Usquequo Domine is based on De Monte’s motet “Usquequo Domine oblivisceris me”, and his Missa super La dolce vista takes inspiration from the madrigal “La Dolce Vista Della Donna Mia”.  So the method behind the madness on this recording makes perfect sense.

This is the sixth album from Cinquecento, a pan-European ensemble formed in Vienna in 2004, for Hyperion, and it is a beauty. Schondorff and De Monte are composers worth knowing for any early music fan, and others as well will be seduced and calmed by the many beauties found here. Cinquecento is a crackerjack group that knows its repertory very well.

—Steven Ritter




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