Robert White (±1538-1574): Ad te levavi oculos meos

0
August 28, 2015

Maxima musarum nostrarum gloria White
Tu peris aeternum sed tua musa manet.

White, thou glorious leader of our art has died
But thy muse lives on in eternity.

(Robert Dow's lament on the death of Robert White
in the London plague outbreak of 1574).

Robert White was born into a family with many connections to the musical world (his grandfather presented an organ to St Andrew’s, Holborn which ultimately wound up at Westminster Abbey where it was praised for its excellence) and born into the political, religious, and musical maelstrom that was Tudor ruled England. His talent as a musician must have been apparent fairly early on because connections alone would not have given him his very rapid rise from choirboy to lay clerk in the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, to master of choristers within a few years of his arrival. He was granted his BMus by Cambridge in  1550 being described in the award as having studied for 10 years. If you think about this for a moment you'll see what I mean about his talents being apparent from an early age. He'd have been  about twelve when he first arrived at Trinity, he was seventeen when he was made a lay clerk, shortly thereafter he was made master of choristers and all of that before he was granted his batchelorate at the ripe old age of twenty-two years of age. The other thing about those dates is that his musically formative years included Queen Mary's reign during which Catholic beliefs and ritual practises including sophisticated and complex Latin texted religious music were once again the religion of state deviation from which could result in the loss of livelihood, liberty, life and limb.

His career was one of steady and fairly rapid progress he succeeded Tye in Ely (marrying Tye's daughter along the way) and wound up at heart of the State's musical establishment in  1569 with his appointment as master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey which position he held until he and his family perished during the particularly virulent London plague outbreak of 1574. I think there can be very little doubt that had he not died so young that he would have progressed yet further into the heart of religious and musical establishment. Notwithstanding his I suspect that White's sympathies were Catholic partly because of the quality of the writing of his Latin music and partly because when he died it was discovered from his accounts that that notorious Catholic gentleman and patron of music Edward Paxton of Barningham Hall, Norfolk owed him a considerably sum of money.

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Feature: Christopher Tye (±1505 – 1573) Missa Sine Nomine

0
August 27, 2015

Tye seems to have composed a fair amount of Latin religious music before Feb 20th 1547 when Edward Tudor was crowned Edward VI of King of England and Tye in common with every other composer who wanted to keep life and limb intact switched to composing in English. This setting of the Mass is Henrician and as its source is the Peterhouse Partbooks it must date from sometime before 1540. It's a five-part Mass which, like much of Tye's surviving music is missing some of its parts in this case the tenor which was reconstructed by David Skinner for this recording. It's interesting that even in the 1530s under the doctrinally very conservative Henry VII that Tye felt he could get away with writing what, for its time, is a startlingly modern indeed reformist piece of music. Very daring indeed for the 1530s. For the most part it's in duple time with some tripla writing interpolated the writing is imitative and flexible with some homophony and antiphony all being used to accentuate the text. I also find it more than somewhat interesting that it's a Missa Sine Nomine, a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass that uses no pre-existing musical source material, and that Tye composed such a  Mass at a time when:

  1. Most Masses were based upon a  pre-existing piece of music.

    and

  2. Henry VIII, who was very conservative both theologically and ritually, was on the throne.

The fact that it's survived nearly intact when so much of his music is lost, the fact that he dared compose it all, and last but not least its music combine to make this seldom-performed Renaissance gem quite remarkable. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Satie: Gymnopédie, nr. 1 – Alexandre Tharaud – Prinsengrachtconcert 2015 – YouTube

0
August 26, 2015

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Meta

Pages

Cives celestis patrie

0
August 25, 2015

[16] And the city lieth in a foursquare, and the length thereof is as great as the breadth: and he measured the city with the golden reed for twelve thousand furlongs, and the length and the height and the breadth thereof are equal. [17] And he measured the wall thereof an hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which is of an angel. [18] And the building of the wall thereof was of jasper stone: but the city itself pure gold, like to clear glass. [19] And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper: the second, sapphire: the third, a chalcedony: the fourth, an emerald: [20] The fifth, sardonyx: the sixth, sardius: the seventh, chrysolite: the eighth, beryl: the ninth, a topaz: the tenth, a chrysoprasus: the eleventh, a jacinth: the twelfth, an amethyst.

In Western Europe from about AD 700 on there was a tradition of hymns detailing the marvels of heavenly Jerusalem –  'that city beyond the skies'. These hymns would mention the precious stones that were the basis of its construction, their colours, and the mystical attributes they were believed to possess. Cives celestis patrie (Citizens of the father’s realm) which dates from at least AD 900 epitomises this tradition, it was very widespread being found in manuscript collections all over the the continent as well in England. It's performed below by Anonymous 4. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

John Sheppard (±1515-1558): Gaudete celicole omnes

0
August 24, 2015

Sheppard's setting of the devotional antiphon Gaudete celicole omnes (Rejoice everyone in heaven) was probably composed during Henry VIII's reign it's very dense very English and is remarkable for the way in Sheppard alters the vocal textures in response to  the text's flow. Enjoy :-).

mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Michael Haydn, Requiem c-moll, Spring concert, 2015 – YouTube

0
August 23, 2015

Michael Haydn, Requiem c-moll, Spring concert, 2015 The Moscow Oratorio Society - artistic leader and conductor - Alexander Tsaliuk The Galina Vishnevskaya College Theatre Orchestra - artistic leader and conductor - Ayrat Kashaev Conductor - Alexander Tsaliuk Soloists: Olga Povstyanaya - Soprano Maia Avakyan - Alto Uriel Granat - Tenor Alexey Tyuhin - Bass Natalia Kuptsova - Piano accompanist, organ Director - Carol Sorrenti Video, Editing - Sergey Arzumanyan

Enjoy :-)
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Search the site by typing into the box

Click any of these tags to see a list of postings on that topic

Africa and Rainstorm by the Kearsney College Choir – YouTube

0
August 22, 2015

I keep on meaning to post this. If you know the performance by Perpetuum Jazzile and are wondering where they got it from it was the boys of South Africa's, Kearsney College Choir who first came up with the idea. So here you go - the original. The soloist is the inimitable Stefan Grobler. Enjoy :-)
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Salvator Mundi – Hilliard Ensemble.

0
August 21, 2015

There are very many recordings of Tallis' setting of Salvator Mundi the antiphon for Matins on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross but one that I come back to time and time again is this taut and elegantly sung performance by the Hilliard Ensemble. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Tölzer Knabenchor – J.S. BACH – Motet “Fürchte dich nicht” BWV 228 – YouTube

0
August 20, 2015

The boys of the Tölzer Knabenchor performing Bach's motet "Fürchte dich nicht" during a Sunday Service at Johanneskirche, Bad Tölz. Organ and continuo Clemens Haudum, the treble soloists are Elias Mädler, (right choir) and Pascal Pfeiffer (left choir) the director was Christian Fliegner. Enjoy :-).
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

John Sheppard (±1515-1558): Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria

0
August 19, 2015

We know very little about Sheppard's life (and much of what we 'knew' turns out to be wrong) but his contemporaries and later generations of musicians fully recognised his importance more than 40 years after his death Thomas Morley praised his music.  His Latin works mostly date from the reigns of Henry VII and Mary I with Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria most likely dating from sometime in Mary's reign. It's a setting of the Respond and Prose at Second Vespers at Candlemas and it takes the chant as its cantus firmus. It's very densely written with some gloriously elaborate counterpoint weaving its sinuous way around the cantus firmus. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Edward Elgar (1857-1934): Great is the Lord Op 67

0
August 18, 2015

imageElgar started 'Great is the Lord' in 1910 it's an adaptation of Psalm 47 and is fairly popular now but at the time he was composing it, perhaps because there was no patron to commission it in sight, it was doubtful that Elgar would even complete it. It took him two years working in fits and starts but on  July 16th 1912 it received its first performance with organ accompaniment at Westminster Abbey with  Sir Frederick Bridge conducting – the success of this outing led it being orchestrated in September 1913. Structurally it's not particularly complex, Elgar divided it up into sections each of which introduces new material, it opens with the the altos, tenors and basses in unison but changes thereafter to being in two parts with some passages in block harmony. There's a wonderful bass solo at 'We have thought on Thy loving-kindness, O God' the anthem ends with rich choral writing that reminds me more than somewhat of his oratorios. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Sebastián de Vivanco – Assumpsit Iesus Petrum – YouTube

0
August 17, 2015

Sebastián de Vivanco (Ávila, 1551 - Salamanca, 1622)
Intérpretes/Performers: Música Reservata de Barcelona (dir: Bruno Turner)

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Special Pages

My most recent video

Service Unavailable.