The Sweetest Songs: a new release by Contrapunctus and Owen Rees
The new album by Contrapunctus, a professional vocal consort directed by Professor Owen Rees (Fellow in Music), was released last Friday.
‘The Sweetest Songs’ is the third and final release in Contrapunctus’s series (begun in 2015) presenting music from the Baldwin Partbooks, the richest manuscript collection of Tudor polyphony, preserved in Christ Church library. Each of the discs has explored a contrasting aspect of this remarkable collection, and this final CD opens a window on a striking aspect of the history of the motet in England: the psalm motet.
Much of this repertory remains unfamiliar to modern audiences, even though all the principal English composers born between between the 1510s and 1530s contributed. About half of the works have not been recorded before, and several have been reconstructed for performance.
The Baldwin Partbooks recording project by Contrapunctus was supported by the University's John Fell Fund, and Contrapunctus gave associated concerts as part of its Music Faculty residencies.