Hermannus Contractus (1013-1054): Salve Regina

The Marian antiphon Salve Regina sung here by the Hilliard Ensemble’s counter-tenor David James. This performance, the performance by Henry’s Eight about which I wrote on November 26, 2013, and the performance by the child choristers of Salisbury Cathedral about which I wrote on July 15, 2013 are three performances of it as chant that…

Sunday Concert: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K 219, Turkish

Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219,  is the last violin concerto he ´wrote. He wrote it originally for his own use but re-worked it in favour of his friend the Neapolitan violin virtuoso Antonio Brunetti who succeeded  Mozart as concertmaster the following year after one Mozart fell out with his employer…

Josquin Des Prez (±1450 – 1521): Qui habitat

This twenty-four part (6 × SATB) setting by Josquin of the text of first eight verses of Psalm 90 in the Vulgate. It’s composed of four interwoven six-voice canons augmented by some very intricate and detailed decoration underlain by a harmonic ostinato. Gabriel Jackson’s notes for the performance below can’t be bettered by me: Surviving…

Spem in alium (Sarum plainchant)

The text for this respond at Matins in the Sarum liturgy is derived from Judith 6.19 and 8.19. There is no musical connection between this and any of the polyphonic settings of the text, so far as I know the performance below is the only recording of it ever made commercially. Enjoy :-). mfi

Robert White (±1538-1574): Magnificat

When Morley, was writing his A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (1597) he listed White as one of the greatest English composers saying that he was equal to de Lassus and included him in a list of seven eminent Tudor composers that included "Fayrfax, Taverner, Sheppard, Whyte, Parsons and Mr Byrd." Whenever I…

Libera in America: Ave Maria – YouTube

Surely not another rendition of Ave Maria? Yes, another rendition and a very good one in which the soloist  Thomas Delgado Little instead of singing in Bb major takes the piece 2 keys higher to Db major and slows the pace somewhat. This could have gone very wrong indeed but Delgado Little (who outside of…