Spem in alium (Sarum plainchant)

The text for this respond at Matins in the Sarum liturgy is derived from Judith 6.19 and 8.19. There is no musical connection between this and any of the polyphonic settings of the text, so far as I know the performance below is the only recording of it ever made commercially. Enjoy :-). mfi

Gemma nitens

The source of Gemma nitens (O shining jewel) is a manuscript in the archives of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, (MS 512), it’s a two part piece in honour of The Virgin composed for the feast of The Annunciation and in its time would have been one of many pieces of music dedicated to her…

Quotiescumque manducabitis panem hunc

Another setting of a Pauline text today,  this time Corinthians 11 1 26-27  Quotiescumque manducabitis panem hunc (For as often as you shall eat this bread) as it would have been sung in England under the Sarum rite’s usage at the high-point of the Mass. Enjoy :-). mfi

Agnus Dei: Qui pius est factus

Troping was the addition of a new verse or verses, consisting of text and music to an established text. The classic example is the English one whereby a composer would set the Mass with the exception of the Kyrie which, because it was troped, he would leave to be set according to local usage and…

Beata viscera (plainchant)

The plainchant Communion motet of the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when…

Benedicta et venerabilis es (plainchant)

The Gradual for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when it was…

Beatam me dicent – Antiphona ad communionem

This communion antiphon is sung here as it would have been sung in Venice during a Marian Mass, that is a Mass offered within the framework of a liturgy set out for a Marian feast day. The chant in this case is taken from the Commune Festorum B. Mariae Virginis which set out the liturgically…

Salve sancta parens

Salve sancta parens (Hail, holy parent,) is set as the Introit at Lady Mass in Eastertide and the Introit at Mass for the Nativity of the Virgin and as such has been set by composers from medieval times on. Good recordings of the chant are relatively rare particularly when sung using medieval Latin pronunciation with…

Corpus Christi 2016 – Ave Verum Corpus

The boys of the Senior’s Boy’s Schola  of Glenstal Benedictine Abbey, Limerick, Ireland, sing Ave verum corpus the 14th century hymn to the Blessed Sacrament attributed to Pope Innocent VI appointed to be sung on the feast of  Corpus Christi. mfi

Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521): Antiphona Regali Ex Progenie

This very brief antiphon — the third antiphon at Vespers of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the cantus firmus for Fayrfax’s Mass setting Missa Regali Ex Progenie, the Mass which I’ll post at sometime in the future is an early work but is no less beautiful for that. enjoy :-). mfi

Vespers – Deus in adiutorium

I’m quite often asked ‘What is Vespers?’  Vespers is a one of the liturgical Hours or "offices" that are celebrated at defined moments of the day. The word comes from Latin ‘vespera’ which means ‘evening’ and the office of Vespers was held1 between 5 and 6pm (17:00 – 18:00). Vespers followed a strict pattern: 1:…

Gregorian Chant: Victimae paschali laudes

Victimae Paschali is the Sequence for Easter Sunday and is one of only four that survived the Council of Trent and other reforms. It’s variously attributed Robert II of France (tenth century), Notker Balbulus (tenth century), and Wipo of Burgundy (eleventh century). For textual reasons I think that Balbulus is the most of the three…