El León de Oro / Peter Phillips

Amarae Morti

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AllMusic Review by

A sublime survey of sacred music of the high Renaissance, Hyperion's 2018 release Amarae Morti offers transparent performances by Peter Phillips and the a cappella chamber choir El León de Oro. Covering music of the Franco-Flemish and Iberian schools, the program follows a trajectory from darkness to light, from somber motets by Dominique Phinot, Orlande de Lassus, Nicolas Gombert, and Manuel Cardoso to glorious works by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Cristóbal de Morales, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. There is a consistency of subjects in the program, which includes settings of the Lamentations, Media Vita, the Regina Coeli, and the Magnificat, revealing different treatments of these familiar texts and varying levels of complexity and contrapuntal mastery, which culminate in the magnificent polychoral works of Victoria and Palestrina. The 33-voice Spanish choir El León de Oro presents luminous interpretations of these sometimes melancholy but often ethereal pieces, and the direction of early music specialist Phillips, who also leads the famed Tallis Scholars, is as impeccable as ever, with an ear to finding the clearest textures in even the richest part writing. The album was recorded in the Church of St. James the Greater in Sariego, Asturias, so the pure 16th century counterpoint is heard to best advantage in its warmly vibrant acoustics.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Incipit oratio Jeremiae prophetae
1 01:07 Amazon
2 02:10 Amazon
3 01:55 Amazon
4 02:32 Amazon
5 02:04 Amazon
6 02:08 Amazon
Media vita
7 03:06 Amazon
8 02:57 Amazon
Lamentationes Hieremiae
9 02:36 Amazon
10 01:59 Amazon
11 01:46 Amazon
12 01:09 Amazon
Regina caeli
13 01:26 Amazon
14 01:34 Amazon
15 05:58 Amazon
Lamentatio Feria quinta in Coena Domini - Lectio II
16 02:06 Amazon
17 02:48 Amazon
18 01:03 Amazon
Regina caeli
19 01:53 Amazon
20 02:33 Amazon
Magnificat primi toni
21 00:47 Amazon
22 00:49 Amazon
23 00:54 Amazon
24 00:52 Amazon
25 01:04 Amazon
26 00:51 Amazon
27 00:37 Amazon
28 01:03 Amazon
29 00:32 Amazon
30 01:47 Amazon
Regina caeli
31 02:20 Amazon
32 02:25 Amazon
Laudate pueri
33 03:23 Amazon
34 03:55 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick