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Southwell Minster Choir: On Jordan’s Bank – YouTube

October 9, 2013

Sung by The Southwell Minster Choir, for Radio 3.

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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 15: Missa De Beata Maria Virgine

October 8, 2013

Morales Madonna and Child 02-In this, the final posting in my series of fifteen exploring de Victoria's Marian music I deal with his setting of the Mass 'Missa De Beata Maria Virgine'. Victoria's 'Missa De Beata Maria Virgine' (Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary) was first published by Angelo Gardano in Venice in 1576 and then again by his brother Alessandro in Rome in 1583. It's one of Victoria's paraphrase Masses (a paraphrase Mass is a Mass based on plainsong). In this case the plainsong(s) in question is the twelfth-century Gregorian plainsong Mass IX, 'Cum iubilo' - which was the Mass designated for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Credo I. Obviously enough Victoria builds upon plainsong throughout the Mass but what's unusual about this Mass is how he did it. Which is is that he based the separate movements of the Mass on different plainsong melodies, and sometimes on different modes. When a composer sets a Mass in this way the result is what's called a 'non-cyclic' Mass.

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Wells Cathedral Choir: King of Glory, King of Peace

October 7, 2013

Instead of plunging into a life of politics and ecclesiastical office George Herbert (1593–1633) chose to follow his vocation living the life of a country priest in Bemerton, Wiltshire. Much of his poetry is as Alan Luff put it 'too intricate to be hymns' but 'King of Glory, King of Peace' in its simplicity and total commitment to the praise of God is an exception. Its inherent musicality has been is perfectly captured and augmented by Malcolm Archer's tune in which the second last word in the short lines of the long-short couplets is given full weight. It's sung below by Wells Cathedral Choir. Enjoy :-).


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Sunday Concert: Franz Schubert (1797-1828): Schubert Symphony No 3 D major

October 6, 2013

Schubert as a youth - sketch 150x197Two months after he'd completed his second Symphony the youthful Schubert began work on his third Symphony –  the D major symphony (D. 200). He finished it three months later. It's a very concise and clearly outline piece that's scored for an orchestra with pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets and drums, with strings. Its Haydenesque slow opening is followed by an Allegro con brio in which wind instruments anounce the subjects, there's some pleasingly imaginative writing here before the clarinet introduces the recapitulation. The second movement (G major Allegretto) starts with a gentle melody carried by the strings, the flute and woodwinds join in before the second theme is proffered by a clarinet in C this second theme is overtaken by the returning first section. The third movement is a  Minuet that closely resembles a scherzo with the oboe, bassoon, and strings leading us through one of the Ländler folk dances so popular at the time. The final movement is an energetic tarantella during which Schubert makes heavy use of the rising scale figures that have been heard throughout the symphony. It's played below by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel. Enjoy :-).


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The Swingle Singers – "Lady Madonna" – YouTube

October 5, 2013

The Swingle Singers perform "Lady Madonna" during a rehearsal at Symphony Hall in Boston MA on June 7, 2011

Video Source: The Swingle Singers - "Lady Madonna" – YouTube Uploaded on 10 Jun 2011 by


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