Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521) Aeternae laudis lilium

The title and first line of Fayrfax’s  five-part votive antiphon ‘Aeternae laudis lilium’ – “Aeternae laudis lilium, O dulcis Maria, te laudat” (“O gentle Mary, eternally the lily to be praised”), is a reference to Christian usage of the lily as as a symbol of chastity, innocence, purity and piety. Fayrfax and his audience would…

William Byrd: Ave verum corpus – Helsinki Chamber Choir

The Helsinki Chamber Choir, conducted by Tim Brown performing Byrd’s ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ at the German Church, Helsinki, Finland,  on March 19th 2011. Don’t pass this one up unlistened to — it’s an excellent performance of what is probably Byrd’s most often-performed compositions. The text and a translation to English are below the fold. Enjoy…

Paul Simon: Still Crazy After All These Years – Vocal Line

Vocal Line er et moderne dansk a cappella kor med 30 sangere, dirigeret af Jens Johansen. Vocal Line blev dannet i 1991 i Århus og gennem årene har Vocal Line konstant søgt at udvide grænserne for a cappella musikken. Gennem sin 20-årige levetid har koret opnået stor anerkendelse i Europa og den øvrige verden, de…

John Sheppard: Verbum caro factum est

Like most of his surviving music John Sheppard’s  ‘Verbum caro factum est‘ was composed for the Sarum rite. It’s a Respond to be sung at Matins and at Mass on Christmas day. It’s an exuberant and elaborate piece of music typical of the style of church music from the reign of Mary Tudor (1553–1558).  It’s…

Forthcoming Series: Henry Purcell, The Complete Sacred Music

Henry Purcell was born in London in 1659 and died there in 1695. He is one of England’s most important composers who during his 36 years, contributed enormously to the English-speaking world’s musical heritage. His output was vast and encompassed music for theatre, opera, court odes, songs, and an enormous quantity of sacred music. The…

BBC Documentary "How Choirs Work" – Gareth Malone

Gareth Malone has made it his life’s work to share his love for and fascination with everything to do with choirs and choral music. His affection, respect, enthusiasm, and knowledge, about the topic  bubble throughout this very enjoyable documentary. The documentary starts with Malone saying "choirs are my passion and have been all my life"…

Saturday Chorale: Tallis: Oh Lord In Thee Is All My Trust

Tallis’ "O Lord, in thee is all my trust"was printed in 1565 in the only collection of English church music to be published during Tallis’s lifetime John Day’s "Mornyng and Evenyng prayer and Communion, set forth in foure partes" The anthology was intended to provide music which could be sung by the congregation during Anglican…