Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Credo in E minor, RV591

Vivaldi’s Credo in E minor, RV591, is a companion piece to his Gloria RV588 (the less well known his two settings of the Gloria). It’s his only sacred composition without solo voices to be in more than one movement and is a fairly early work dating from his ‘first’ period at the Pietà. I like…

Miri it is – Estampie – Circa 1200 AD

Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song; oc nu neheth windes blast and weder strong. Ei, ei! What this night is long! and ich, with wel michel wrong, soregh and murn and fast. Medieval English poets and poet-minstrels often represented the fallen human condition by using images of winter. Miri it is (Merry…

Otto Olsson 1879-1964: Advent – Engelbrekts Kammarkör

Olson’s music is little known outside of Scandinavia and even in his native Sweden he’s mostly remembered as a virtuosic organist and as a lecturer in music. He also composed choral music such as the six Gregorianska melodier op.30 (1910), in which his treatment of the chant balanced counterpoint with rich harmonies. His requiem is…

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599): Conditor alme siderum

Conditor alme siderum is the first hymn of the ecclesiastical year and was the first of Guerrero’s set of liturgical Office Hymns included in his 1584 Vespers book. By setting it in what was called ‘tempus perfectum‘ Guerrero was able to take the traditional Spanish triple-time which moves along at a fair clip and slow…

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Turn thou us, O good Lord

I’m including Turn thou us, O good Lord (Z62) more for the sake of completeness than anything else as I’m far from sure that the work is indeed by Purcell. It’s found in the first volume of the Flackton collection 1  and was noted by Flackton as follows: The 3.d Collect for the 30 of…

Henry’s Eight: Salve Regina

One of the recordings of the Salve that I use for reference is the performance of it by ‘Henry’s Eight’ a very versatile English a cappella group who formed in 1992 while its then members were choral scholars at Trinity College, Cambridge. They restructured themselves in 1994 as a professional ensemble whose members are all…