Concerts

Concerts

Knut Nystedt (1915 – 2014): Kumm süsser Tod – Les Petits Chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly

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February 24, 2015

The choristers of Les Petits Chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly conducted by François Polgár singing the late Knut Nystedt's setting of  Kumm süsser Tod at a concert given at the Church of Sainte-Marguerite Le Vésinet on the eight of this month. I've always loved this piece of music. I love how Nystedt uses multiple choirs and layers of overlapping harmonies  to create the impression of music moving through time and space. It's a very difficult piece to get right but when a choir does manage it the effect is stunning. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Dresdner Kreuzchor (Febr. 13, 2015) Oskar Wermann, Vater Unser

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February 23, 2015

Frauenkirche:
Gedenkgottesdienst zur Bombardierung Dresdens vor 70 Jahren.
Memorial service because the bombing of Dresden 70 years ago.
Oskar Wermann, op. 23, Nr. 2, Motette für zwei vierstimmige Chöre

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Sunday Concert: Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644–1704) : Missa Alleluia – Ars Antiqua Austria – YouTube

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February 8, 2015

I can think of no higher praise than to say that Biber's sacred compositions are at least as wonderful as his works for violin. As a virtuoso violinist and composer for the instrument his rich colourful music has assured him a permanent place in the Pantheon but it's only fairly recently that attention has turned to his work as a composer of sacred music and instrumental ensemble music. Biber who was the  most highly honoured violin virtuoso of his time spent a fair bit of his career as a violinist at the Salzburg court but he also stood out as a composer and in 1684 he was appointed Kapellmeister which position he held for remaining twenty years of his life composing Masses, and other sacred music as well as some operas. Salzburg as you might expect of a wealthy and politically important Imperial city was an important cultural centre whose patrons of the arts could afford and expected nothing but the best. Musically the city rivalled and perhaps even surpassed Venice in its appreciation of good music. Venetian composers had pioneered polychorality but Salzburger composers such as Biber took up the technique with élan. All of his Masses whether they're a cappella masses or huge concerted works for solo and ripieno voices with large instrumental accompaniment are distinguished by his superb vocal writing, his use of a sometimes bewildering array musical instruments, very strict counterpoint,  and often spectacular variations written over a basso ostinato. If I had to nominate a composer who epitomises the combination of discipline and exuberance that was Salzburger Baroque Biber's strong sense of late 17th-century tone-colour both vocal and orchestral would undoubtedly make him my choice. All of these characteristics are wonderfully on display in the performance of his Missa Alleluia performed by Ars Antiqua Austria conducted by Gunar Letzbor at a concert given as part of last year's Utrecht Early Music Festival at the Vredenburg Tivoli. The singing, playing and conducting are all superb, so perhaps it's somewhat invidious to single out the three trebles and alto from the St. Florianer Sängerknaben but their singing is so good and their performance so consummately professional that really I feel that the three trebles Josef Pascal Aur, Simon Paul Bernhard, and Daniel Mandel, together with their alto colleague Alois Mühlbacher deserve particular mention. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Mendelssohn: Symphony Nº 2, ‘Lobgesang’ – Live Concert HD

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February 1, 2015

Mendelssohn composed this symphony-cantata for orchestra and chorus in response to a commission from the organisers of the 1840 celebrations commemorating the 400th anniversary of Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. Its title "Lobgesang" which you can translate variously as "Hymn of Praise" or "Song of Praise" reflects its hybrid structure of three movements scored for orchestra alone, playing as a sinfonia prelude to final movement which is a choral cantata.

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Wednesday Earwig: Boys’ Choir St. Petersburg — The Lion sleeps Tonight

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January 28, 2015

Sung with great verve at as you might expect from this superb Russian choir. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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