September 21, 2010

Utopia Triumphans

Utopia Triumphans-The Great Polyphony of the Renaissance

My first three word album review: "Stunning and Mesmerizing". But seriously...

I am generally a rock n' roller. I like guitar driven rock. This includes my worship music. Strangely, I have had a fondness for chanting also since the early 90's. In my excursions on the web recently I stumbled across a form of music called Renaissance Polyphony. In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony) [Wiki]. The Renaissance is obviously a date or time designation. In the case of the first piece on this disc "Spem in alium" there are 40 vocals/voices (8 sopranos, 8 altos, 8 tenors, 16 basses). The effect on your eardrum and psyche [Gk ψυχή: psykhe- the soul, mind, life] is astounding. It has to be heard to be believed. A worded review will do this little justice. For a minimal fee of approximately $6-7 USD its worth the buy to download just to hear the beauty of 1-3 dozen voices singing in harmony. At the risk of sounding cliche it sounds like a chorus of angels. Regardless of your tastes in music, go spend the $7. You will not be disappointed.

1. Spem in alium - Thomas Tallis (40 voice parts)
2. Sanctus, Agnus Dei - (from the `Missa Ducalis`) - Costanzo Porta (13 voice parts)
3. Qui habitat (Psalm 90) - Josquin Desprez (24 voice parts)
4. Deo gratias - Johannes Ockeghem (36 voice parts)
5. Laudate Dominum - Pierre de Manchicourt (6 voice parts)
6. Exaudi me Domine - Giovanni Gabrieli (16 voice parts)
7. Ecce beatam lucem - Allesandro Striggio (40 voice parts)

Rating 100/100

"Polyphony - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2010.

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