Francisco Guerrero, 1528 in Sevilla geboren, fand in seiner Heimatstadt den zentralen Punkt seines Lebens. Als Musiker und Komponist machte er sich verdient, aber auch durch seine Initiative, zahlreiche Musikwerke zu veröffentlichen. Sein gelegentlich turbulentes Leben wurde gekrönt durch eine Reise nach Jerusalem, seine Werke bildeten für viele seiner Nachfolger die Grundlagen ihrer Parodiemessen. Guerrero selber schrieb seine fünfstimmige Messe »Congratulamini mihi« nach Motiven der Motette von Thomas Crecquillon. Die Messe und die weiteren Werke dieser CD zeigen die unterschiedlichen Facetten des meisterhaften Stils Guerreros auf.
The award-winning Cardinall’s Musick have finally completed their Byrd series, and now look outside the British isles to a composer who had to wait for a long time for his genius to be fully recognised, although he was well known to his contemporaries, and produced a considerable output. Guerrero was born in 1528 in Seville, the city that was to remain at the centre of his entire life. His early training came from his brother Pedro and it is thought that he was a chorister at the magnificent Cathedral in Seville with its sumptuous music foundation. Guerrero himself states that he studied with Morales, and it was Morales who recommended the young musician for the post of maestro de capilla at Jaén Cathedral in 1546 – a short-lived appointment.
The main work on this disc is the gloriously sunny and joyful Missa Congratulamini mihi. Based on an Easter motet by Crecquillon (also recorded here), it is full of the voluptuous exuberance of the Paschal season. The five-part texture, with two treble parts, adds to the shining sound.
Also included are a number of Easter motets. Maria Magdalena et altera Maria and Post dies octo are highly descriptive, narrative works, highly contrasted in mood and texture. The four other pieces on this disc show various facets of Guerrero’s mastery. Dum esset rex (in honour of Mary Magdalene) is similar to a spiritual madrigal whilst the eight-part Ave Maria is a sonorous double-choir plea to the Virgin. The two settings of Regina caeli (the Marian antiphon to be sung during Eastertide) both use a plainsong cantus firmus as their starting point. The older sounding, four-part version uses a minor-mode motif whilst the eight-part setting uses the more traditional plainsong melody woven into an exuberant and joyful Easter statement.
'This latest addition to Guerrero's discography is especially to be welcomed for his fine Mass on a motet by Thomas Crecquillon, in which one hears echoes of the style of Guerrero's near-direct contemporary, Palestrina. Like its model it is a joyful, extrovert piece, to which Andrew Carwood's singers respond with an equal measure of buoyancy and vigour' (Gramophone)
' 'Since 1989, Andrew Carwood has nurtured the group to its current status as a leading exponent of Renaissance music, retaining the essential quality of individual vocal timbres that contribute to a refined, characterful mix and with a polish that is second to none … This entire disc is captivating in its fluency and expressive power' (The Daily Telegraph)
'This Mass, beautifully sung by The Cardinall's Musick, reflects Guerrero's soaring style' (The Independent)
'This is one of the finest Guerrero discs… Carwood has given us a program of the highest distinction… It is beyond excellent' (Fanfare, USA)