Feature: Libera: Coventry Carol

I remember very clearly the first time I saw Cogniet’s "Massacre of the innocents".  Cogniet’s paintings can be a bit mannerly but there’s nothing polite or bland about terror and Cogniet’s depiction of a terrified mother desperately trying to keep her child quiet lest they be discovered by Herod’s soldiers as they massacre all the…

Feature: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Mass in C major

For this, the first in a series of postings dealing with settings of the Mass by Bach and Beethoven that have been overshadowed by their better known Mass settings, I chosen Beethoven’s Mass in C major. Beethoven’s reputation is such that he’s achieved an almost mythological status it’s as though he’s become the musical equivalent…

Sunday Playlist: The Medieval Mind: How To Build A Cathedral

Just one video in this week’s playlist but I doubt you’ll feel stinted. I routinely use photographs of medieval churches and cathedrals to illustrate my postings and in my videos. If you’ve ever gone into a medieval cathedral looked up and wondered "how did they do that"? Then this fascinating and well-made BBC documentary is…

Feature: Steven Stucky (b1949) — The 3 Tallis Motets

The American composer Steven Stucky was born in 1949 he’s a very well thought of  composer both of orchestral music and of vocal music. As well as composing and conducting he also lectures, teaches, and is generally considered to be a leading commentator on contemporary American music. In 2005 as part of the 500th birthday…

Feature: Christopher Tye (c1505-before 15 March 1573): Western Wynde Mass

‘England one God, one truth, one doctor hath for music’s art—and that is Dr Tye’ (Edward VI quoting his father Henry VII’s opinion of his music teacher Christopher Tye). Like his exact contemporary Thomas Tallis Christopher Tye successfully navigated the storms of the English reformation. Both Tye and Tallis composed music for Protestant and Catholic…