Michael Noone

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Cristobal de Morales
Missa Benedicta Es Caelorum Regina
Assumption Mass at Toledo Cathedral — 2001

In 1570 Pope Pius V promulgated a new Mass liturgy, the first designed for universal use within the Roman Church, and reflecting the reforms of the Council of Trent. Philip II, king of Spain, a staunch supporter of the Council's liturgical reforms, husbanded the speedy adoption, in spirit and letter, of the new Mass liturgy within his dominions, not least in Spain's primatial see of Toledo. At this time, Toledo Cathedral, situated just south of Madrid, was still one of Spain's leading ecclesiastical institutions. Conforming with Pius's book in most (though not all) respects, this early Palencian version of the Tridentine use forms the basis of this recording of music that might have been sung at Mass at Toledo on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15 August) in the last quarter of the sixteenth century.
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Reviews

“Conductor/musicologist Michael Noone constructs a musically rich liturgy around a glorious Missa Benedicta est regina…this is a recording no lover of Renaissance music should overlook.”
Andrew O’Connor, International Record Review, June 2002

“True to previous form, Noone makes sensibly proportionate use of the instrumental musicians we know to have been employed in Toledo…A delicious indulgence.”
Stephen Pettit, BBC Music Magazine (Performance: 5 stars, Sound: 5 stars)

“The research into the rich musical repertory and the musico-liturgical practice of Toledo Cathedral by guest conductor Michael Noone makes for a particularly compelling example of the reconstruction genre…one of the most convincing ‘occasional’ recordings I have heard.”
Tess Knighton, Gramophone, December 2001 (CD named ‘Editor’s Choice’)

“Marvellous music, very well performed in versions that penetrate the spirit and recreate the atmosphere of our cathedrals.”
ABC Cultural, November 2001 (4 stars)

“follows on from highly successful collaborations with Michael Noone…and once again singers and instrumentalists are on top form.”
Noel O’Regan, Early Music Review, December 2001

“Michael Noone’s work with the Orchestra of the Renaissance reveals qualities already familiar from his previous recordings, among which we may mention the well tuned and balanced voices and instruments…In sum, a musicological achievement worthy of full attention as the Australian musicologist shines new light into the still unknown Spanish musical heritage.”
Raúl Mallavibarrena, Ritmo, January 2002 (4 stars)

“World prèmieres of stupendous pieces by Ribera and Torrentes reach moments of intense and profound expressivity.”
Pablo Vayón, Scherzo, March 2002

“brilliant, stimulating, spectacular, exciting, beautiful, and passionate”
Francisco de Paula, Diverdi, August 2000

“the performance, luxuriating in the most minute details, is captivating…sumptuous sound”
Marc Desmet, Le Monde de la Musique, April 2002 (“Choice of the month”)

Goldberg, 2002: 5 stars

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