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markfromireland

Kearsney College Choir: World Choir Games 2014, Riga

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August 16, 2014

Kearnsey College Choir are another wonderful South African Choir whose fortunes I follow with keen interest, I was delighted when they won gold at this year's World Choir Games in Riga. Delighted but not surprised – they're very good at what they do. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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William Mundy (±1529-1591): Vox Patris caelestis

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August 15, 2014

Mundy composed Vox Patris caelestis (The voice of the heavenly Father) during Queen Mary's reign (1553–1558) we can date it to these five years first because Mundy was too young to have written it during Henry VIII's reign, secondly its text which is a Marian paean based upon the Song of Songs would have been unacceptable both to Edward VI and Elizabeth I as protestant monarchs as would the musical style. It probably wouldn't have been all that acceptable to Mary's fellow Catholic monarchs either, it's musical style is very English and Mundy who clearly liked to compose on a gigantic scale is far more concerned with letting his melodies spread their wings than with textual clarity. His structure is aimed at achieving this melodic breadth. You can hear this in the way the solos build and increase in intensity Mundy wanted it to be spectacular and so it is he took most spectacular voice combination available to him two trebles, two means and two basses and heightens the musical firework again and again until at last we come to conclusive 'Veni, veni, veni: caelesti gloria coronaberis. Amen'. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Beatus vir RV795

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August 14, 2014

vivaldi sketch captioned 150x180You'll sometimes read people making a fuss about the fact that the Ryom Verzeichnis Number for this the third and last of Vivaldi's surviving settings of Psalm 111 (112 in modern translations) is an inversion of RV597 another setting of the Psalm and one to which it is closely related. In fact the inversion is entirely happenstance and the various numerological paroxysms into which these enthusiasts throw themselves are really rather ridiculous. It's one of a group of Psalms that Vivaldi composed for performance at the Pietà on Easter 1739 and is based upon a now lost setting of the Psalm. It's written in a galant style and calls for the alto to sing 'pseudo bass' you can hear this particularly clearly in the terzet 'In memoria aeterna' where the second contralto double the instrumental bass at precisely one octave above. Between that terzet and the writing of the 'Peccator videbit'.  It's a lovely piece of music that features some very innovative part-writing and a fascinating glimpse of an aging Vivaldi's determination to keep his musical style fresh and up-to-date. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Surge, propera, amica mea

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August 13, 2014

While I was researching this posting I came across this performance of Surge, propera, amica mea (Rise up, make haste, my love,) given by the Spanish choir Coro Musicalia at a concert given on May 20th 2012 at the Iglesia de El Salvador, Valladolid. I was impressed and enjoyed it greatly, I hope that you will too.

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Lullaby ‘My sweet little baby’

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August 12, 2014

When he published Psalms, Sonets, and songs of Sadnes and Pietie in 1588 Byrd wrote that he hoped it would 'perswade everyone to learne how to sing' all of the songs in the 1588 book are very distinctive in their concentration on a beautiful sound, on harnessing the expressive power of the human voice. They're all pieces that repay frequent listening or as Byrd put it "a song that is well and artificially made cannot be well perceived nor understood at the first hearing, but the oftener you shall heare it, the better cause of liking you will discover" I've long since lost count of how many times I've listened to this performance of the Winter Lullaby, an early work that shows Byrd's consummate mastery of that most difficult art, writing a good tune. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

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