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The Gesualdo Six, Owain Park: Morning Star (24/192 FLAC)

The Gesualdo Six, Owain Park: Morning Star (24/192 FLAC)
The Gesualdo Six, Owain Park: Morning Star (24/192 FLAC)

Performer: Gesualdo Six
Conductor: Owain Park
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Hyperion
Catalogue: CDA68404
Release: 2023
Size: 2.6 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Cornelius: Weihnachtslieder, Op. 8
01. No. 3, The Three Kings (Arr. Atkins / Park)

02. anon.: Ecce advenit
03. Eccard: Maria wallt zum Heiligtum
04. Byrd: Ecce Advenit
05. anon.: Omnes de Saba venient
06. Marsh: In Winter’s House
07. Handl: Mirabile mysterium

Howells: 3 Carol-Anthems
08. No. 1, Here Is the Little Door

09. anon.: Alleluia. Vidimus stellam

Clemens: Magi veniunt ab oriente
10. I. Magi veniunt ab oriente
11. II. Magi videntes stellam

12. Pärt: Morning Star
13. Peacock: There Is No Rose
14. anon.: Reges Tharsis
15. Lassus: Tribus miraculis, LV 219
16. Park: O Send Out Thy Light
17. anon.: Vidimus stellam
18. Bingham: In Mary’s Love

Manchicourt: Illuminare, Jerusalem
19. I. Illuminare, Jerusalem, quia venit lumen tuum
20. II. Filii tui de longe venient

21. anon.: Bethlehem, of Noblest Cities

After nearly ten years of existence, the male vocal sextet The Gesualdo Six, formed behind the desks of Cambridge University, can boast of having developed a tone and personality that are all their own, already immortalized on eight albums released on Hyperion. Since Universal Music Group’s purchase of the label, digital music fans can rejoice about being able to enjoy the Hyperion catalogue as it is gradually made available on streaming platforms and for download.

The Morning Star is the first new release from The Gesualdo Six since the label’s new life. With the approach of the holiday season, the sextet has come up with a repertoire that sweeps nearly five centuries of vocal music. The common thread that links the works? They all are anchored in a seminal episode of the Biblical tradition: the night the infant Christ was visited by the Three Wise Men. The album features titles from the Franco-Flemish school of the sixteenth century (Lassus, Manchicourt) to contemporary compositions by Arvo Pärt and Joanna Marsh.

The vocal perfection of the Gesualdo Six can’t help but unite all sensibilities, going beyond any potential divides within this program that freely and happily jumps from era to era, at the risk of startling the listener’s ear. They manage to do so on account of the musical genius of the singers, who are perfect on all counts: their sonoric unity, the fashioning of their timbre, their perfectly-coordinated breathing. A breathtaking jewel of a record that is likely one of, if not the, most beautiful vocal music production of 2023.

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