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markfromireland

The Masses of Gregorio Allegri Part 3 — Missa Vidi turbam magnam

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November 13, 2013

Allegri's six-part 'Missa Vidi turbam magnam' (I saw a great multitude) was written for performance in the Sistine Chapel. It's an unaccompanied setting because the Sistine Chapel at the time strictly followed the dictate of the Council of Trent that no instrumental accompaniment was allowed.  It's a good example of how Allegri who was the foremost exponent of the stile antico had the skill and the flexibility to be able to also compose music in the seconda prattica. In  'Missa Vidi turbam magnam' he uses a far more modern approach to composition than might be expected - there are a lot of modern tonalities and his use of counterpoint is quite restrained. It's performed here with plainchant Introit and Gradual. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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John Kenneth Tavener: 28 January 1944 — 12 November 2013

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November 12, 2013

The British composer John Kenneth Tavener died today he is survived by his wife Maryanna and their three children, Theodora, Sofia and Orlando. Michael J Stewart's obituary of him is here, his website is here. Of your charity pray for his soul and for his family that they may be comforted. markfroireland


The Masses of Gregorio Allegri Part 2 – Missa In lectulo meo

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November 12, 2013

Gregorio Allegri (1582 1652) is known today for one piece of music - his setting of Psalm 51 Miserere mei deus. But, as the fact that he was elected maestro di capella of the Papal choir in 1650 and that his fellow musicians had elected him in 1640 to revise Palestrina's hymns (which was necessary because of Pope Urban VIII's revision of the texts), there was far more to him than that. He wouldn't have had those honours bestowed upon him if his contemporaries hadn't seen him as Palestrina's successor and a worthy composer in the the stile antico in his own right.

His Missa in lectulo meo is a parody Mass in eight parts based upon a motet of the same name1  by Pierre Bonhomme (or Bonomi) a Flemish composer who was active in Rome before being granted livings in his native Liege by the Pope. It' a wonderful piece of music and one which, to my mind. goes a long way to explaining why Allegri's fellow musicians thought so much of him. In it he takes Bonhomme's motet as a starting point and builds something entirely new from it. This becomes clear very early on in the Mass when during the Kyrie he takes a melisma of Bonhomme's and uses it to create points of imitation - something he does repeatedly throughout the Mass. (His double Christe Eleison reminds me somewhat of De Lassus). Taken as a whole it's an opulent and lively piece full of inentive melodicism and with very effective use of dissonance. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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Forthcoming Series: Vivaldi’s Sacred Music

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November 11, 2013

Up until the 1920s musicologists were unaware of the existence of Vivaldi's sacred vocal music. For many the suggestion that he had composed such music would have seemed odd since he had never been maestro di cappella at any church but in fact as we now know because Vivaldi’s own manuscripts came to light his […]


The Masses of Gregorio Allegri Part 1: Pierre Bonhomme (Bonomi)(±1555-1617) In lectulo meo

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November 11, 2013

Bonhomme was a Flemish composer who held served in the cathedral of St Lambert in Liège between 1580 and 1584. Some time after 1584 he moved to Rome and while there he was made a canon at the collegiate church of Ste Croix in Liège.  His motet 'In lectulo meo' is a melodious setting verses from the Song of Songs and is almost entirely antiphonal. It's chiefly famous for being the basis of Gregorio Allegri's 'Missa in lectulo meo' but is a worthwhile piece of music in its own right. It's sung below by the Choir of King's College London, conducted by David Trendel. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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