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markfromireland

4th Sunday of Lent 2014 Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521): Maria plena virtutate

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March 30, 2014

Of all Fayrfax's works his meditation on the Passion "Maria plena virtute" (Mary full of virtue) is the one that I find the most moving.

markfromireland

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Siegfried Strohbach (born 1929) : Jesus, der Retter im Sturm – YouTube

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March 29, 2014

The boys of the Lübecker Knabenkantorei conducted by Marienkantor Michael D. Müller singing Strohbach's Gospel motet "Jesus, der Retter im Seesturm" (Jesus, the saviour in the storm on the lake) in a performance given on October 16th 2011  in Regensburg's Neupfarrkirche. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): In manus tuas

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March 28, 2014

Tallis' setting of the Compline respond is quite typical of his Elizabethan Latin Church music, it's beguiling in its simplicity and its beauty. Tallis' solution of what to do with this piece that could not be performed liturgically was elegant – he turned it into a motet.

markfromireland

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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): In exitu Israel RV604

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March 27, 2014

This Psalm (113 in the Vulgate and 114 combined with 115 in Protestant bibles) has alway been something of a nightmare for composers. Even if you forget all about the two verses of the doxology you're still left with the problem of how to maintain musical momentum and interest through twenty-seven verses. Vivaldi's setting dates from 1739 which means it's one of a group of psalms he wrote for Easter Sunday at the Pietà in 1739. It's a pleasant piece in which he does actually manage to keep things going nice by dint of varying the patterns of the violin accompaniment, changing the key in which the psalm is sung, and varying the vocal texture as far as possible  within the bounds of the homophonic vocal structure he employed. He also makes use of a responsorial style in which the soprano soloists are answered by the full choir.  Despite all these it's a very simple piece – in fact its simplicity is a large part of its charm. It's sung below by 'Vivaldi's Women' the British all-woman ensemble dedicated to performing Vivaldi's music as he himself would have expected to hear it. (I wrote about this group on October 23, 2011 and if you haven't already seen the fascinating documentary about their work I urge you strongly to do so – you can see it here: Sunday Playlist: Vivaldi and the women of the Pieta – Vivaldi’s Women | Saturday Chorale).

markfromireland

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Francisco de Peñalosa (c1470-1528): Ne reminiscaris, Domine,

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March 26, 2014

Francisco de Peñalosa's starkly beautiful penitential motet Ne reminiscaris, Domine.

markfromireland

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