The Renaissance composers Johannes Lupi and Lupus Hellinck were near contemporaries, though presumably unrelated, despite the similarity of their names. (Curiously, composers and musicians with the names Lupus, Lupi, Lobo, and Lupo -- derived from the Latin lupus for wolf -- are sometimes referred to as the "wolf pack.") This bears no relation to the music Lupi and Hellinck wrote, which consisted of masses and motets, and reflected the prevailing polyphonic style of choral music found in Flanders, France, and England in the early 16th century. This is the kind of repertoire the Brabant Ensemble performs to perfection, and under the direction of Stephen Rice, the group has released many albums of unfamiliar choral music from the period. The ensemble has been recording for Hyperion since 2006, when it released an album of works by Thomas Crecquillon, and followed it with recordings of music by Pierre de Manchicourt, Nicolas Gombert, Jacobus Clemens non Papa, and Cipriano de Rore, as well as the better known Orlande de Lassus, Jacob Obrecht, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, boasting the utmost musical polish and clean sound quality. These characteristics are essential in finding points of interest for modern listeners to Renaissance counterpoint, which sometimes underwhelms with its purity of tone and placid counterpoint. However, the Brabant Ensemble makes the most of the expressive possibilities in the passing dissonances and occasional cross-relations that add interest to the harmony, and Hyperion provides first-rate digital reproduction.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Missa Surrexit pastor bonus|
|Salve celeberrima virgo|
|Quam pulchra es|
|Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel|
|Te Deum laudamus|