Transeamus (English Carols and Motets)

The Hilliard Ensemble

of discs
Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Classical, Choral
ECM New Series
October 13, 2014

Format: Compact Disc



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Having recorded more than twenty albums for ECM since the mid-80s, The Hilliard Ensemble caps its discography before retirement (at the end of 2014) with a final release: 'Transeamus', a collection of polyphony - in two, three and four parts - from 15th-century England.

The British vocal ensemble's very first ECM recording included music from the court of Henry VIII, and 'Transeamus' brings their odyssey through the ages full circle. The album includes many of the group's favourite pieces from this era, including previously unrecorded items from its concert programmes by the likes of John Plummer, Walter Lambe and William Cornysh. More of the album's works are by composers rendered anonymous by time, yet all of this music is rich with enduring personality.

Tenor David James says: "The sweet harmonies might appear uncomplicated, but this transparency of sound creates a cumulative effect that is mesmerising. The album ends with 'Ah gentle Jesu'. We know the composer's name, Sheryngham, but virtually nothing else. On paper, it is a simple dialogue between Christ on the cross and a penitent sinner; however, the intensity of the music is so overwhelming that, from our experience in concert, both listener and performer are left in stunned silence."

Personnel: David James (countertenor), Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold (tenor), Gordon Jones (baritone)

Press Quotes

(4 stars) Subtle, underplayed collection of carols and motets from the English repertory - simple, touching numbers such as There Is No Rose and Cornysh's Ave Maria, Mater Dei sung with the ensemble's trademark balance and clarity...We will miss the Hilliards' unique explorations.

The Observer, (Nicholas Kenyon), November 2, 2014

(4 stars) The opening trio of song about the death of Thomas Becket reflect the range of the ensemble's approaches, from the doughty singsong manner and round-like overlapping lines of "Thomas gemma Cantuariae" to the rarefied harmonies and refined grace of "Clangat tuba".

The Independent, (Andy Gill), October 18, 2014

(4 stars) The music is mild, gentle and sweet, the performances understated and calm, sometimes touchingly fragile. A haunting farewell.

The Irish Times, (Michael Dervan), November 28, 2014

It's a euphonious, expressive music, and the Hilliard's four voices, as always, perform it with affecting poise and directness.

The Sunday Times, (Stephen Pettitt), November 23, 2014

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number 4811106
Barcode 0028948111060
Number of items 1
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 122g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 143mm x 11mm x 128mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Anonymous: Thomas gemma Cantuariae 02:39
2. Anonymous: St. Thomas honour we 03:19
3. Anonymous: Clangat tuba 06:38
4. John Plummer: Anna mater 06:52
5. Anonymous: Lullay, I saw 02:41
6. John Plummer: O pulcherrima mulierum 03:17
7. Anonymous: There is no rose 04:43
8. Walter Lambe: Stella Caeli 06:40
9. Anonymous: Marvel not Joseph 04:45
10. Anonymous: Ecce quod natura 04:37
11. William Cornysh: Ave Maria, Mater Dei 02:58
12. Anonymous: Ah! My dear Son 07:12
13. Anonymous: Sancta mater gracie / Dou way Robin 02:36
14. Sheryngham: Ah, gentle Jesu 08:27