William Byrd (±1539-1623): Da mihi auxilium

I’ve written about Byrd’s six-part setting of a text from Psalm 107 before that posting featured a performance by The Cardinall’s Musick under Andrew Carwood, it’s a fine performance as is this somewhat different perfomance by I Fagiolini under Robert Hollingworth which is well worth hearing not only in its own right but also by…

Nicolaus Craen (±1440-1507): Tota pulchra es

Although much of his life and music are now sunk in obscurity his contemporaries greatly admired this Southern Netherlands composer. He spent the last six years of his life as the sangmeester of the Confraternity of Our Lady in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and it’s known that the chapter of St Donatian, Bruges made at least one attempt…

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): Almighty and everlasting God

Gibbons was renowned amongst his contemporaries as an organist rather than as a composer perhaps, amongst other reasons, because the amount of music he composed is relatively slight. But if ever there was a composer to whom the adage "quality not quantity" applies that composer is Gibbons. I mostly write about choral music on this…

Jean Lhéritier (±1480—±1552): Miserere mei, Domine

Jean Lhéritier is reputed to have been one of Josquin’s students although the only evidence for this comes from the fact that a contemporary – Giovanthomaso Cimello said he was one of Josquin’s followers. If Lhéritier did have any direct contact with Josquin then it can only have taken place in France during Josquin’s term…

Jacob Handl (1550–1591): Missa Super Sancta Maria

Despite his relatively short life, Handl musical output was vast around five hundred works known to be by him survive most of these are religious works and the overwhelming majority of them three hundred and seventy four motets scored for between four and twenty-four voices are to be found in his four volume Opus musicum.…

Jean Lhéritier (±1480—±1552): Magnificat

The first public performance in modern times of Jean L’Heritier’s Magnificat. Recorded live at the St. John Nepomucene Chapel at Sarny Castle, Aug 29, 2015. Performed by Men’s Vocal Ensemble Gregorianum, conducted by Berenika Jozajtis. This is a rarity amongst Lhéritier ‘s surviving works most of which arecomparatively short motets. Rarity or not like all…

Beatam me dicent – Antiphona ad communionem

This communion antiphon is sung here as it would have been sung in Venice during a Marian Mass, that is a Mass offered within the framework of a liturgy set out for a Marian feast day. The chant in this case is taken from the Commune Festorum B. Mariae Virginis which set out the liturgically…

Robert White (±1538-1574): Miserere mei, Deus

White’s five-part (ATTBarB) setting of the Miserere consists chordal singing interspersed with imitative. It’s possible that White set it intending it to be sung alongside the Lamentations to which it bears a distinct resemblance particularly in the way in which in the block chords one voice leads the others thereby providing the vocal clarity that…

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Psalm 67

Ešenvalds setting of Psalm 67 was premiered by Stephen Layton and Polyphony in Amsterdam in 2012  a very traditional Anglican chant sounding baritone solo is responded to by the full choir singing a very chordal setting of the text. It’s very chromatic writing which shifts and mixes mood between praise and apprehension. The chant melody…