Friday, December 07, 2012

New York Polyphony's “endBeginning" one of "Ten Notable Classical-Music Recordings of 2012"

So writes Alex Ross in his music column in The New Yorker:
Here ... is a selection of notable classical releases from 2012, which may be of assistance as you seek the perfect gift for your decadent niece who worships Wagner. A few audio and video samples are embedded. Two of the selections—the “Winterreise” and the Vivaldi—were, in fact, released at the end of 2011, but they reached my desk too late to make last year’s list.
The NYP blurb at that offers this description and partial playlist:
“endBeginning”: Works by Brumel, Crecquillon, Clemens non Papa, Josquin, Jackson Hill; New York Polyphony (BIS)
We're big fans of NYP, and have posted quite a few of their videos on this blog before. We're really happy for them, and think this is certainly a well-deserved honor.

Here's a rerun; this live recording (from a concert at the Church of the Ascension) is from Crequillon's Lamentations of Jeremiah, and I believe is one of the pieces on the CD  (although Amazon doesn't print the playlist, at least not on this page):

You can listen to more recordings at their website - and here's a nice video about the making of this CD.

Another blogger, cburrell at "All Manner of Thing," chooses "endBeginning" as a "Favorite of 2012," too, and writes:
New York Polyphony is a young, four man vocal ensemble hailing from the Big Apple. They had made a few impressive recordings prior to this one, distinguishing themselves for the smooth blend of their voices and their nuanced interpretations. All of that is again evident on endBeginning, and, together with BIS’s usual superb engineering, would be enough to recommend this disc. It almost comes as a bonus, therefore, to realize just how very interesting is the collection of music they have chosen to record. Most of it is Franco-Flemish polyphony from the sixteenth century, but much of it is rare: I had never before heard Antoine Brumel’s Missa pro defunctis, which includes the first known polyphonic setting of the Dies Irae, and I don’t believe Thomas Crecquillon’s Lamentations for Holy Week had ever been recorded before. The programme is rounded out by Gregorian chant from the Requiem Mass and several more famous motets on similar themes, such as Josquin’s Absalon fili mi, a setting of David’s lament on the death of his son, and Clemens non Papa’s Infelix ego, a setting of Savonarola’s meditation on Psalm 51 written as he awaited execution in Florence. It is all thematically a bit gloomy, I suppose, but gloom has rarely sounded this beautiful. The programme closes with a new piece written for New York Polyphony by Jackson Hill; Ma fin est mon commencement is described as a “fantasy” on Guillaume de Machaut’s motet of the same name, and it is an interesting piece, even if it doesn’t rise to the same level of inspiration as Machaut’s witty (because palindromic) original. Its inclusion here might have made more sense if Machaut’s piece has also been included, but placed last in the context of a programme meditating on death, it does make for a surprisingly hopeful conclusion. And it provides a sleek title for the disc too, which is surely convenient. Let’s listen to Josquin’s Absalon fili mi:

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...