Various Artists

Magnum Mysterium I: A Special Collection of Sacred Music Classics

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Magnum Mysterium, Vol. 1 dips into the golden age of polyphony. This is when Renaissance composers put together intricate layers of complementing melodies, sometimes based on mystic numerology. With a single exception, English ensemble artists perform all the Catholic and Protestant pieces here. Magnum Mysterium, Vol. 1 covers the origins of the polyphonic tradition in the 15th-17th Centuries. The music here, of Giovanni Palestrina and others, still resonates with a compelling beauty through the centuries. Along with other English-speaking acknowledged masters, such as Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, this compendium includes seldom-heard religious composers from the Iberian peninsula, Manuel Cardoso and Duarte Lobo. When lulled into peaceful reverie by the sublime sounds of William Byrd, it is hard to understand how the works of these known Catholics were not suppressed by the violently Protestant court of Elizabeth I for their beauty alone.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Requiem (Missa pro defunctis), for 8 voices & continuo
1 3:48
2 3:16
3 3:39
5 2:26
6 4:24
Sacred Pieces (4), for chorus & orchestra (Quattro pezzi sacri)
7 5:05
8 3:57
9 3:49
Nouvelles Pièces (3) for organ, Op. 87
10 5:15
Requiem, for 2 solo voices, chorus, organ & orchestra, Op. 48
11 3:43
Requiem, for orchestra, organ & chorus; for organ & chorus; for small ensemble, organ & chorus, Op. 9 (3 versions)
12 4:16
13 6:58
Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 45
14 11:11
Organ Sonata No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 65/4
15 2:33
St. Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion), for soloists, double chorus & double orchestra, BWV 244 (BC D3b)
16 3:11
blue highlight denotes track pick