Features

BBC Documentary – Bach: A Passionate Life – John Eliot Gardiner

0
May 4, 2014

John Eliot Gardiner goes in search of Bach the man and the musician.

The famous portrait of Bach portrays a grumpy 62-year-old man in a wig and formal coat, yet his greatest works were composed 20 years earlier in an almost unrivalled blaze of creativity.

We reveal a complex and passionate artist; a warm and convivial family man at the same time a rebellious spirit struggling with the hierarchies of state and church who wrote timeless music that is today known world-wide. Gardiner undertakes a 'Bach Tour' of Germany, and sifts the relatively few clues we have - some newly-found.

Most of all, he uses the music to reveal the real Bach.

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

5th Sunday of Lent 2014 Robert Fayrfax (1464 1521): Magnificat & Missa O bone Ihesu

0
April 6, 2014

The late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries were a time of great musical innovation and achievement. One of the most important of the achievements was the development of the so-called cyclic Mass. (A cyclic Mass is a Mass setting whose components are united by a common musical theme).

Perhaps because it was in many ways a logical development of the great English tradition of the Festal Mass English composers – in particular Robert Fayrfax and Nicholas Ludford were at the forefront of this musical innovation. Missa O bone Ihesu epitomises this form of the Mass and takes it further. It is unusual amongst Fayrfax's Masses in three ways:

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

Feature: Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497) – Missa L’homme armé

February 19, 2014

Clerks Group 325x302 captionedIn common with other composers of his era Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497) composed a setting of the Mass using the catchy popular song L'homme armé (The armed man) as a cantus firmus underpinning the structure. Unlike many of his contemporaries in Ockeghem's setting you can clearly hear it right throughout the work. In the playlist below you can hear it sung first in a version by Robert Mouton, combined with a rondeau Il sera pour vous which was one of its earliest polyphonic settings. Followed by the Mass. I particularly love how in the Agnus Dei it appears, oh so slowly, in the bass, taken down to low G to stunning effect. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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

Mozart Documentary – The Genius of Mozart 3/3 "The First Romantic" – YouTube

4
February 16, 2014

The third and final episode in this documentary series from BBC covering the Mozart's life and works. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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

Feature: Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) — Monteverdi Messa a 4 da Cappella

February 12, 2014

Monteverdi 150x150 Seven years after Monteverdi's death Alessandro Vincenti published 'the sacred relics of the works of the most excellent Monteverdi', beginning the collection with the 'Messa a 4 voci da Cappella'. It's a tightly written piece that derives much of its interest from the ingenuity with which Monteverdi made use of the descending scale of a fourth and the rising thirds of the opening theme. It's quite a florid piece that's closer to his concertato pieces than to anything else with lots of textural variations – duets and trios, changes of timing and some chordal writing to maintain interest. It's a wonderful mix of the old and new and shows how Monteverdi's close study of Gombert's music repaid itself in the form of Monteverdi's enhanced mastery of contrapuntal writing. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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

Archives

Special Pages