Features

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 / Rattle · City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra – YouTube

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October 4, 2015

Following on from last week's documentary on Simon Rattle. Enjoy :-).
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Simon Rattle: The Making of a Maestro (BBC Music Documentary) – YouTube

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September 27, 2015

BBC Documentary providing unique insights into the working life of one of the world's most acclaimed musicians, celebrated conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Broadcast 14 Feb2 015

Enjoy :-)
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Alessandro Grandi 1630 Vespers: Lecture and musical examples, Jeffrey Kurtzman (Voices of Music)

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September 13, 2015

Jeffrey Kurtzman's full lecture, complete with HD video musical examples, from the Voices of Music Venetian Vespers concert, December, 2013.

Jeffrey Kurtzman earned his Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research, supported by fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEH, ACLS, DAAD, Rice University, Washington University, the University of Venice and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, is centered on Italian music of the 16th and 17th centuries, aesthetics, and criticism. Professor Kurtzman has published books on the Monteverdi Vespers and critical editions of the Monteverdi Vespers, Monteverdi Masses, a 10-volume series of Seventeenth-Century Italian Music for Vespers and Compline; a book of essays on Sixteenth and Seventeenth-century Italian sacred music, a book of essays on Monteverdi, a monograph on instruments in Venetian processions and ceremonies of the 16th and 17th centuries; and numerous articles on 16th- and 17th-century Italian music. Together with Anne Schnoebelen he has published a detailed catalogue of some 2000 prints published in Italy of music for the mass, office and Holy Week, 1516-1770 in the series Instrumenta of the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music. He is also the General Editor of the Opera Omnia of Alessandro Grandi published by the American Institute of Musicology and General Editor for Special Projects of the Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music. Professor Kurtzman received Rice University's Phi Beta Kappa and George R. Brown awards for Excellence in Teaching. The founder of the international Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, he currently serves on the Editorial Boards of their Web Library of Seventeenth-Century Music and the Journal of Seventeenth-Century Music, and has been named an Honorary Life Member by the Society. He also serves on the advisory boards of several early music performing ensembles and as a pianist, regularly performs chamber music in the St. Louis area.

Enjoy :-)

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Feature: Christopher Tye (±1505 – 1573) Missa Sine Nomine

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August 27, 2015

Tye seems to have composed a fair amount of Latin religious music before Feb 20th 1547 when Edward Tudor was crowned Edward VI of King of England and Tye in common with every other composer who wanted to keep life and limb intact switched to composing in English. This setting of the Mass is Henrician and as its source is the Peterhouse Partbooks it must date from sometime before 1540. It's a five-part Mass which, like much of Tye's surviving music is missing some of its parts in this case the tenor which was reconstructed by David Skinner for this recording. It's interesting that even in the 1530s under the doctrinally very conservative Henry VII that Tye felt he could get away with writing what, for its time, is a startlingly modern indeed reformist piece of music. Very daring indeed for the 1530s. For the most part it's in duple time with some tripla writing interpolated the writing is imitative and flexible with some homophony and antiphony all being used to accentuate the text. I also find it more than somewhat interesting that it's a Missa Sine Nomine, a musical setting of the Ordinary of the Mass that uses no pre-existing musical source material, and that Tye composed such a  Mass at a time when:

  1. Most Masses were based upon a  pre-existing piece of music.

    and

  2. Henry VIII, who was very conservative both theologically and ritually, was on the throne.

The fact that it's survived nearly intact when so much of his music is lost, the fact that he dared compose it all, and last but not least its music combine to make this seldom-performed Renaissance gem quite remarkable. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Feature: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Missa Veni Sponsa Christi

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May 10, 2015

Palestrina's four-part setting of the Mass Missa Veni sponsa Christi, for 4 voices was published in 1599 in Venice in the Missarum liber nonus. It is, as the name would lead you to expect, based upon a setting of Veni sponsa Christi which was the Magnificat antiphon prescribed to be sung at Second Vespers from the Common of Virgins. Palestrina composed a really rather beautiful four-part (SATB) motet for this antiphon in which he published in 'Motecta festorum totius anni cum communi sanctorum quaternis vocibus' in 1563. I  wrote about this motet in October 2013, and you'll get far more enjoyment from this Mass if you first listen to the motet and read about it which you can do on the following posting on my site: http://saturdaychorale.com/2013/10/22/giovanni-pierluigi-da-palestrina-1525-1594-veni-sponsa-chisti-antiphon-and-motet/.

It's not surprising that Palestrina composed a setting of this motet, if you take a look at the page for Veni Sponsa Christi on CPDL you'll see that they've listed a lot of settings of it  both from composers who pre-date him and his contemporaries (see: http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Veni_sponsa_Christi ).  Nor is  surprising that Palestrina used his motet as the basis for a Mass setting. Marian Motets and Marian Masses were in heavy demand in counter-reformation Italy and Palestrina's contemporaries particularly admired his skill as a composer of beautiful motets. Palestrina wound up a wealthy man and a large part of the reason for that is that he gave his audience what he knew they wanted. Like the motet it's a very dense piece of writing into which Palestrina crams as much musical material as he possibly can while retaining the graciousness and poise for which his music is famous. For the purposes of this video I've included the antiphon at the start of the video so that you can hear the cantus firmus, the text and translation are below. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

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