Feature: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Sonatas for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord BWV 1027 – 1029

Despite the fact that they’re numbered consecutively Bach’s three Sonatas for Viola da gamba and Harpsichord BWV 1027 – 1029 weren’t written as a set. In fact in some ways they’re something of a mystery indeed until recently we really knew pretty much nothing about either the circumstances or the date of their composition and…

Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739): Dulcis Jesu Mater cara

Bendetto Marcello’s reputation has been eclipsed by that of Vivaldi and the other professional musicians of his era his music is now largely forgotten. Its obscurity is our loss for Marcello’s music was greatly admired and rightly so by Bach, Telemann, Locatelli, Avison and Goethe, and in later times Cherubini, Rossini and Verdi. The ‘Nobile…

Granville Bantock (1868-1946): A Hebridean Symphony

Bantock’s Hebridean Symphony was an undertaking of love; love for his native Scotland, love for the music of Scotland, and love for the beauty of the land, especially, and obviously, the inner and outer islands of the Hebrides. Per Keith Anderson, who wrote the liner notes for the album from which this performance was taken,…

Feature: Alessandro Grandi (±1586 – 1630): Salve Regina

This wonderful setting of the Salve is a particularly fine example of what a talented composer does when confronted with artistic restrictions. Grandi was one of those composers who flourished in Venice during Monteverdi’s time and in his shadow. He’d held posts as a maestro di capella in Ferrara, and had previously sung and studied…

Feature: Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Sancte Deus

In early Tudor England composers produced four main types of church music: Masses, Magnificats, Votive antiphons Smaller liturgical pieces From this we know that Tallis would have composed this votive antiphon for four voices (SATB) during Henry VIII’s reign but before the Reformation. It must have been fairly popular because it was set both by…

Feature: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Stabat mater RV621 — Soloist: Francisco Javier Rodríguez Braojos, Escolanía del Escorial

Vivaldi’s setting of Stabat Mater for Alto and strings is one of his earliest religious works and may even be the earliest.It commissioned by Santa Maria della Pace in Brescia in 1711 for their patronal festival and received its first performance on March 18th 1712 during the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed…