Mudd: Let thy merciful ears

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May 25, 2015

We don't know which of the Mudds composed this setting of the collect for the tenth sunday after Trinity. It could have been Henry Mudd, either of his two sons, or his grandson Thomas. (Just to make dating and attribution even more difficult it's been wrongly ascribed to Weelkes). It's a short but lovely piece in a very modern style and with a lovely melody. I've put the text below the video. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Glyndebourne presents: Carmen free viewing for one week

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May 24, 2015

telegraphcarmen

On Sunday at 5pm, telegraph.co.uk will stream Glyndebourne Festival Opera's production of Carmen, with the stream available to view on demand for one week after. The performance stars Anne Sofie von Otter and was recorded in 2002; the same production has been revived for the 2015 season.

The Telegraph's opera critic Rupert Christiansen writes...

Amazingly, it flopped at its first performance in 1875 – a prim Parisian audience found its realism distasteful. But Bizet’s Carmen – based on Prosper Merimee’s tale of a strait-laced soldier who becomes dangerously infatuated with a mysterious gypsy – soon went on to become probably the most universally familiar and popular opera in the world, loved and admired as much for its vibrantly expressive melodies as for its enthralling plot and characters.

Go here: Watch Glyndebourne's production of Carmen here from Sunday 24 May at 5pm to watch Glyndebourne Festival Opera's production of Carmen free at the Daily Telegraph site.

Go here: Carmen, Glyndebourne, review: 'extraordinarily good musical performances' to read a review.

Both links open in a new tab/window. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Sunday Documentary: “Singing From Memory” – The American Boychoir

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May 24, 2015

Here is the full length documentary film I made in 1998, built from footage generated in the production of my two earlier Boychoir films and other stock elements.

Don't let the fact that this was made in 1998 put you off, it's still well worth watching as a historical record and a well-made documentary, and also because the things that make a good choir good don't actually change that much over the centuries let alone over the decades.

mfi

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

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Zürcher Sängerknaben (May 16, 2015) Mozart, Laudate Dominum – YouTube

2
May 23, 2015

zurchersonknaben

Concert in the Pfarrkirche. BOYS´CHOIRS´ FESTIVAL with the Toelzer, the Wilteners from Innsbruck/Austria and the Zurchers.

http://www.zsk.ch/

Boy soloist Jonah Schenkel

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George Frideric Handel (1685-1759): Where’er you walk — Aksel JS Rykkvin (treble)

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May 22, 2015

Treble Aksel Johannes Skramstad Rykkvin sings "Where'er you walk" from the opera "Semele" (G.F. Händel) during his concert with leading cathedral organist Magne H. Draagen in Nidaros Cathedral on Easter Sunday April 5, 2015. http://www.ajsrykkvin.no Aksel sings in Oslo Cathedral Boys´ Choir and in the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian National Opera. Voice teachers: Helene […]


Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria – Kantorei of Kansas City

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May 21, 2015

The KSCI Concert Chorale directed by guest clinician, Dr. Ryan Board of Pepperdine University. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, KC MO. Chant, transcribed by Dr. Board.

This eleventh century plainchant sequence for the Ladymass dealing with Mary's immaculate person was particularly popular  with sixteenth century composers amongst them Josquin and Gombert. I've added the text and a translation to English below the video.  Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Jacquet de Mantua (1483 -1559): Aspice Domine

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May 20, 2015

Jacques Colebault or Jacquet de Mantua as he became known was a prolific French composer who spent most of his life in Italy serving the Church. Musically he's important first as one of the leading composers in the period between Josquin and Palestrina and secondly because he was enormously influential. Amongst his patrons were the Este family, Ercole Cardinal Gonzaga (President of the Council of Trent), and Popes Leo X and Clement VII. His works were widely published with collections of his works being published by Scotto and Gardane while music theorists such as Lanfranco, Vanneo, Artusi and Cerone all lauded his works as being equal to those of Gombert and Willaert. While younger composers such as  de Monte, Ruffo, Vaet, de Lassus, Merulo and last but by no means least Palestrina all drew inspiration from him using works of his as the basis of compositions of their own. Aspice Domine, which was first published in 1532 is the most famous of his motets is a good example of how widespread and influential his music was being found in more than forty sources, including no less than seven instrumental intabulations. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Paolo Cima (1570- 1630): Gustate et videte

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May 19, 2015

Cima's contemporaries considered him to be an important and skilled composer on a par with Merulo or Monteverdi but because relatively little of his music has come down to us modern musicologists tend to discount as a composer of choral music. I think there are two main reasons for this. The first is that he plainly was more interested in instrumental music - it was Cima who pioneered the trio sonata which he did with verve and stylistic virtuosity. The second is that he seems to have been a genuinely humble man uninterested in the secular music and considerably less obsessed with getting his works published  than his contemporaries. Perhaps if he'd composed secular vocal music as well as instrumental music and music for the Church he'd be better-known today.

Stylistically I'd describe his vocal sacred music as a mix of moderate reformism and conservatism in which polyphony gradually gave way to some solo motets in a style, similar to Viadana's. Similar, but not identical, because Cima's music was far more influenced by contemporary secular vocal monody than that of Viadana. If you explore Cima's music you'll notice that he's very happy to experiment with declamation and to embelish his subjects with ornamentation. It's this mixture of Renaissance counterpoint and 17th-century avant-garde musical trends that makes his music so interesting he may not have left us much but that which he did leave distils one of the most musicaly complex and rich periods of European musical history down to its essence.

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Jesu nostra redemptio

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May 18, 2015

Byrd's four-part (AATT) setting of the Ascension hymn Jesu nostra redemptio sung here by The Cardinall's Musick conducted by Andrew Carwood was published in the 1607 Gradualia and is notable for its triple time doxology. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Schwanengesang arr. Lizst – Valentina Lisitsa

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May 17, 2015

I like Lisitsa's interpretation of these arrangements by Liszt and hope that you will enjoy listening to them quite as much as I did.

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Exsultate Deo

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May 16, 2015

This is one of my favourites amongst Palestrina's motets. It's a five-part setting (SAATB) of the first three verses of Psalm 81. It's  a bright celebratory piece of music full of word-painting to depict the musical instruments mentioned in the text. Whenever people try to tell me that Palestrina's music is dull, cold, and lifeless, this is one of the pieces of music I use to refute them. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Fratres, qui gloriatur

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May 15, 2015

Orlande de Lassus 180x200 Orlande de Lassus' ingenious Fratres, qui gloriatur makes use of melodic motives that mimic the wind instruments of the period, I rather suspect he had a certain amount of fun writing it. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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