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markfromireland

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): "With Drooping Wings" – Seraphic Fire

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October 26, 2013

The beautiful final chorus from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas performed here by Seraphic Fire. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): O praise the Lord, all ye heathen

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October 25, 2013

Henry Purcell We don't know exactly when Purcell composed this short verse anthem but it must have been before December 1681 because it's one of the anthems copied out in the York 'Gostling' partbooks by Stephen Bing and Bing died during the month of December 1681. It's quite an Italianate piece written for two tenors with minimal participation by the choir.

It starts with a joyful triple time section in which the soloists conduct a dialogue during which they respond to each other's calls for the entire world to praise the Lord. The next section features a dropping line at 'merciful kindness' while Purcell portrays the 'truth of the Lord' that 'endureth forever' with a single sustained note in both voices. A vigorous choral Alleluia follows which in turn is followed by Gloria in which the soloists again engage in an animated musical dialogue. The anthem end with the choir reprising their vigorous Alleluias. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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What is the Kyriale?

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October 24, 2013

kyriale I'm quite often asked what the Kyriale is. – The answer is very simple it's a collection of eighteen Gregorian chant settings of the Mass together with six Credos and a few other chants. All of these Mass settings as well as being worthwhile listening to in their own right have been used again and again and again by religious music composers as the basis for their own settings of the Mass. It's existed in one form or another since the thirteenth century.

Of the eighteen Masses (each of which consists of the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) I suppose the Missa de Angelis (Mass VIII)and the Missa Orbis Factor (Mass XI ) are the most widely known today and so in the interests of bringing you music with which you may be unfamiliar I'm including a rather beautiful modern Kyriale setting 'Missa Cum iubilo (Mass IX)' below. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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The Beatles – Come Together – Meninas Cantoras de Petrópolis (Petropolis Girls’ Choir – Brazil) – YouTube

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October 23, 2013

I keep on meaning to post music from this excellent Brazilian girls' choir, they've got a remarkable vocal range and a remarkably wide-ranging reportoire – from popular music, to Segarra to Handel to Goikoetxea to Caccini. All of it very well sung, I'll be posting more of their music from time to time. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Veni Sponsa Chisti (Antiphon and Motet)

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October 22, 2013

One of the ways in which we differ in our appreciation of Palestrina's music from the appreciation of his contemporaries is that we tend to focus on his Masses. This was far from the case during his lifetime when the focus was on his sacred Latin motets rather than his Masses. The majority of his motets (more than 250 of them) were published during his lifetime and it was these that caused his contemporaries to bestow upon Palestrina his nickname of 'Prince of Music'. Of course we can't separate the two completely because - as was the case with 'Veni sponsa Christi', Palestrina often used his motets as the basis for his Masses nevertheless for present purposes I'm going to focus just upon the antiphon and motet.

'Veni sponsa Christi' (Come bride of Christ) is one of Palestrina's earlies motets - he published it in 1563 in his first ever collection of motets entitled  'Motecta festorum totius anni cum Communi Sanctorum...liber primus' it's very brief just four lines (sixty-seven bars) long. Very brief yes, but Palestrina packs a lot of music into a very small space. He gives each clause of the text its own melodic material producing something that closely resembles an AaBbCcDd structure. For the purposes of this video I've chosen to add the antiphon in front of the motet itself which was the basis of Palestrina's Mass setting 'Missa veni sponsa Christe'.

markfromireland

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