Christmas with the Shepherds: Morales – Mouton – Stabile

The Marian Consort

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A Christmas programme with a difference: Rory McCleery and his acclaimed consort echo the shepherds’ noels through a motet by Jean Mouton which, astonishingly, remained in the repertoire of the Sistine Chapel for over a hundred years after its composition around 1515. So famous already by the middle of the century, when Cristóbal de Morales was engaged as a singer in the papal chapel, it was inevitable that Mouton’s motet – by the compositional precepts of the time – should form the basis for a mass by Morales; and, later still, for a new motet to the same text by Annibale Stabile. A world premiere recording of the latter work crowns this unique programme, drawn from new performing editions by McCleery himself.

‘An interesting programme, tracing the influence of French composer Jean Mouton’s nativity motet … mellifluously performed here by the seven members of the youthful Marian Consort, who shape the sinuous polyphony with winning pliability.’
— BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014

‘If you prefer medieval purity to oversweet harmonies this is a must … The delivery is clean, unadorned, unaccompanied and undemonstrative, drawing the listener in by quiet persuasion and musical intelligence of the highest order.’
— The Observer, December 2014

‘Another scholarly and musically superb disc, with a Christmas flavour – though fare of this quality deserves all-year delectation … Recordings like this should be the basis of any serious music collection – go forth and get.’
— Early Music Review, December 2014

‘These pieces and other Christmas motets are sung with impeccable polish and blend.’
— Sunday Times, December 2014

  • Recording venue(s): Chapel of Merton College, Oxford
  • Recording dates: 13-15 January 2014
  • Physical format: Jewel case
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Number of tracks: 10
  • Total playing time: 1:02:55

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