Ludwig Senfl

Missa Paschalis | Motetten & Lieder

The Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Andrew Lawrence-King
Directed by David Skinner

Ludwig Senfl (1486-1543) was a leading composer in Europe during the Reformation and a favourite musician of Martin Luther. He was much travelled and was for a time under the employ of Emperor Maximilian I.

This recording features a selection of Senfl’s church and vernacular music, in various vocal and instrumental combinations including the cornett and sackbut ensemble QuintEssential, and the fine gothic harp of Andrew Lawrence-King.

The recording itself took place in the Bavarian town of Regensburg in the ancient church of St Emmeram.


Track listing

1. Kyrie (Missa Paschalis)
2. Gloria (Missa Paschalis)
3. Carmen in La
4. So ich sie dann
5. Carmen in Re
6. In Maien
7. Ach Elslein
8. Ave Maria
9. Was wird es doch
10. Ich stuend
11. Sanctus (Missa Paschalis)
12. Agnus Dei (Missa Paschalis)
13. Wohl auf
14. Carmen 8
15. Fortuna ad voces musicalis
16. So man lang macht
17. Quis dabit oculis (attrib. Senfl)

In the Press

“Senfl's music is of such uniformly high quality that sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what stands out. The Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, led by David Skinner and joined by period brass group QuintEssential and harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, do a splendid job of assembling a strong program of Senfl in Obsidian's Ludwig Senfl: Missa Paschalis, Motetten & Lieder.”
- All Music

From the booklet notes

“This recording highlights Senfl’s mastery of the many musical styles within which he worked. The centrepiece is his Missa Paschalis (or Easter Mass), scored for five voices including two equal upper parts. Following earlier traditions, the Kyrie and Gloria [1 & 2] and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei [6 & 7] are paired, though it would appear that the latter set was extracted from another of Senfl’s masses. Each pair are in different modes, and while the Kyrie and Gloria are based on the chant for Easter Day, the chant present in the Sanctus and Agnus Dei is assigned to Sundays in Advent and Lent, hence their separation on this recording. Senfl’s Mass is open to many interpretations regarding instrumentation and performance. Numerous woodcuts from the period indicate that early German music (sacred and secular) was often accompanied by cornetts and sackbuts and this solution is explored here. Certainly when the plainsong cantus firmus is present in each movement the composed voices surrounding that part become more animated and more instrumental in character - and the mixture of full choir, solo voices and instruments heard here seems to provide a satisfactory series of contrasts within what could otherwise be a full, and perhaps relentless texture.”

(c) David Skinner