About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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In Search Of Polyphonic Recordings By Good Choirs
published 25 May 2013 by Jeff Ostrowski

I am looking to add a few CDs to my collection of Renaissance polyphony recordings. Can you help me? Here are the criteria:

1. Must have been composed between 1530 and 1600.

If most of the pieces on the recording are between those dates, we’re good!

2. No instruments, please.

Just FYI, I’ve heard all the arguments for and against accompanying Renaissance polyphony with instruments.

3. Lesser known pieces and composers would be appreciated.

I don’t desire another recording of Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli.

4. Really, really good choirs.

If possible, no amateur choirs. Thanks!

5. Please don’t say Tallis Scholars.

While I admire many things about the Tallis Scholars, many of their recordings sound “top heavy” to my ears. In other words, the soprano lines are way out of proportion with the other voices. My concept of “polyphony” is that all the voices are more or less equal. I don’t like when the soprano section predominates. Somebody told me the director of the Tallis Scholars is married to one of the main soprano singers, but I’ve never been able to verify this. If true, maybe that explains it.

6. Don’t be shy!

Please let me know your suggestions in the combox below. Thanks! I owe you one!