New CD release – Johannes Lupi & Lupus Hellinck: motets, Te Deum, Missa Surrexit pastor bonus

The Brabant Ensemble continues to expand the range of Franco-Flemish Renaissance polyphony recordings, with works by two of the ‘wolf pack’, composers whose names were derived from the Latin lupus. Lupus (Wulfaert) Hellinck (c1494-1541) was based in Bruges: his five-voice Missa Surrexit pastor bonus is based on a motet by the Vatican composer Andreas de Silva. Johannes Lupi (c1506-39) was a boy chorister and subsequently director of music at Cambrai Cathedral: the recording contains three of his motets (including the magnificent eight-voice Salve celeberrima virgo) and a through-composed Te Deum.
Critics have already praised the release for the ‘accuracy and beauty of the singing and the transparency of the recording’ (BBC Radio 3 Record Review), and as ‘the pinnacle of refined singing and thoughtful scholarship’ (MusicWeb International), and have singled out Salve celeberrima virgo as ‘ravishingly beautiful’ (The Sunday Times) and for its ‘rich, velvety texture thrillingly permeated with the spirit of [Nicolas] Gombert’ (Gramophone).

New CD Release

Antoine de Févin, Missa Ave MariaMissa Salve sancta parens, motets
Hyperion Records CDA 68265, 2 November 2018
The ensemble’s latest CD with Hyperion Records presents two Mass settings by another under-exposed composer of the early sixteenth century: Antoine de Févin (c.1470-1511/12), who for the last years of his short life was a singer at the royal chapel of France. His Missa Ave Maria is one of the very earliest imitation or ‘parody’ Mass settings, based on Josquin des Prez’s famous sequence motet Ave Maria…virgo serena (available as a free download via the Hyperion website). It is a beautiful piece which shows great sophistication for its early date in reworking Josquin’s model. Missa Salve sancta parens, dating probably from Févin’s younger years, is based on plainchant and shows a facet of his style more akin to composers such as Brumel. The disc also contains two motets: the famous Sancta Trinitas, which is one of the most widely circulated pieces of its time, and which is given in its original four-voice form as well as a later version with two extra voices composed by Arnold von Bruck (?1500-1554). Also for six voices is the joyful Asceniontide motet Ascendens Christus in altum, which like Missa Ave Maria is strikingly modern in sound.

Missa Grecorum & motets now available

Jacob Obrecht (1457/8-1505): Missa Grecorum and Motets
The Brabant Ensemble continues to break new ground in Renaissance music by issuing the first recording of Obrecht’s Missa Grecorum, alongside his stunning six-voice Salve Regina, and previously unheard motets. The disc is available now to order on iTunes.

Acclaim for new La Rue CD

Our latest release has been enthusiastically received in the press and on radio. Writing in Gramophone, David Fallows describes it as ‘a stunningly satisfying and innovative disc’. The release was also reviewed in glowing terms on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review (8 October 2016), by Kate Bolton-Porciatti and Andrew McGregor. The reviewers praised our ‘warm, enveloping sound’, and the sense that ‘Stephen Rice offers a deeply thoughtful reflection on the words, and [there is] this incredibly close relationship between word and music. It’s as if he’s really gazed deeply into the texts’. Even before this endorsement, the disc had reached no. 9 in the Specialist Classical charts.

Find out More at Hyperion

“Ethereal and Sublime Jacquet” – BBC Music


BBC Music Magazine on The Brabant Ensemble’s latest release:


Radio 3 In Tune Christmas Special

‘The Brabant Ensemble sings Clemens non Papa’s “O Magnum Mysterium” on BBC Radio 3 In Tune, 20 December 2013

Recording & imagery © BBC Radio 3