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markfromireland

Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging: Christopher Wren Singers

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December 17, 2014

This beautiful old German carol is one that I never can resist. It's of Thuringian origin and is known to have been sung there from the early 1400s on. (Although it's probably quite a bit older). The melody is very simple while the text recount recount a Christmas miracle. Of how Mary was passing through a forest which contained a thicket of rose bushes that hadn't bloomed for seven years. As she passed by clasping the Infant Jesus to her breast the rose bushes burst into flower. This is very typical medieval symbolism designed to be easily understood by congregations in what was an a peasant and pre-literate society. The image of the rose was very popular in medieval poetry and carols as an image of purity and grace while the barren thorn-wood represents the world fallen into sin and awaiting redemption. So the miraculous flowering of the roses would have been understood by people in the 1400s and earlier as proving both Mary's love for her child and the redemption being brought to the world by Christ. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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John Taverner (±1490–1545): Christe Jesu, pastor bone

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December 16, 2014

While the carols sung in Elizabethan England were often distinctly secular and in English, the music sung in the Cathedrals, at court, and in University Chapels was, despite the reformation, still permitted to be sung in Latin, of course making it crystal clear where your loyalties lay was also a very good idea. Taverner's Christe Jesu, pastor bone Jesu is a good example (as well of course as being very good music). Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Albert Cano

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December 15, 2014

One of the things about being interested in choral music is that you often think "I wonder what that chorister is doing now". Particularly for cathedral choirs the level of musical professionalism is so high that it's easy to forget that the singer is still a schoolboy or schoolgirl with years of schooling ahead of them before they even begin their lives and careers as adults. Once such chorister about whom I've wondered is Albert Cano, who sang and played both piano and organ at the famous Escolania de Montserrat.  He's now seventeen and from the videos of his performances made he was twelve and thirteen it was clear that he was going to go places. Now aged seventeen he's studied at Manchester's Chetham School and is currently studying in Los Angeles at the Colburn School. He returned to the Abbey at Montserrat for a visit and in the video below can see him play the piano and talk about how his time in the Escolania prepared him for what he's doing now. It's a fascinating and all too brief portrait of a very talented musician at the start of his career. The playlist I've embedded below consists of that video together with videos of him performing as twelve and thirteen year old schoolboy on piano and organ both as soloist and as accompanist. –  The entire set takes only 23 minutes  I promise you  you'll find it time well spent.

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

Sunday Concert: Gala Concert "Music & Light" – Interkultur

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December 14, 2014

Nearly an hour and half of superb singing recorded live at this year's Canta al mar choral festival. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

All hail to the days (Drive the cold winter away)

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December 13, 2014

From about 1600 a carol to "Drive the cold winter away). Well it is getting to be that time of year. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

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