Sunday Concert: Stravinsky Petrouchka – Concertgebouw Orchestra Live

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July 12, 2015

Before tackling the Sacre du Printemps, which would be a long and difficult task, I wanted to refresh myself by composing an orchestral piece in which the piano would play the most important part—a sort of Konzertstück. In composing the music, I had in my mind a distinct picture of a puppet, suddenly endowed with life, exasperating the patience of the orchestra with diabolical cascades of arpeggi. The orchestra in turn retaliates with menacing trumpet-blasts. The outcome is a terrific noise which reaches its climax and ends in the sorrowful and querulous collapse of the poor puppet. Having finished this bizarre piece, I struggled while walking beside Lake Geneva, to find a title which would express in a word the character of my music and consequently the personality of this creature.

One day I leapt for joy. I had indeed found my title—Petroushka, the immortal and unhappy hero of every fair in all countries.

(Igor Stravinsky, An Autobiography)

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

Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben Sicut cervus desiderat G. P. da Palestrina Benefizkonzert Stiftskirche – YouTube

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July 11, 2015

The boys of the Stuttgarter Hymnus-Chorknaben directed by Rainer Johannes Homburg singing Palestina's setting of the first three verses of Psalm 41 (42) at a benefit concert given at the Stiftskirche Stuttgart on June 26th 2015. Enjoy :-)

mfi
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Peter Philips (1560-1628): Panis sancte, panis vive

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July 10, 2015

We don't know exactly when Philips was born or anything about his parentage however we do know that he was brought up by Sebastian Westcote the organist and almoner of St Paul's Cathedral. Westcote was also a notorious recusant and upon his death Philips who didn't have powerful aristocratic patrons to protect him fled to the Continent in order to be able to worship without fear of persecution. His travels before settling down included three years in Rome where he lived alongside such musical geniuses as Palestrina, and de Victoria. He worked alongside Felice Anerio and his favourite composer seems to have have been Marenzio. You can hear the Italian, in particular Roman, influences very clearly in his setting of Panis sancte, panis vive (Holy bread, living bread) it's almost a madrigal and features some nice musical depictions such as the descending lines that illustrate 'qui descendisti de caelo' (who came down from heaven) and which he re-uses at the end of the motet.  Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

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Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Regina caeli laetare (a8)

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July 9, 2015

Photo: Apse Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore. Photo Credit: Carlos Quijano Jr

Photo: Apse Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore.
Photo Credit: Carlos Quijano Jr

Anerio's eight part setting of this Marian Antiphons is a perfect example why his contemporaries considered him to be a worthy successor to Palestrina as official Papal composer. It combines beautiful flowing polyphony combined with homophonic passages and shifts in timing. As you might expect from Palestrina's successor the textual clarity is impeccable throughout. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Escolania de Montserrat: Oració a la Verge de Montserrat – YouTube

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July 8, 2015

Music: Pau Casals (1876-1973), who composed many songs for the Escolania de Montserrat.

Concert presented by Classical Movements, Inc. as part of the Serenade! Washington, DC International Coral Series. Recorded at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland. March 16th 2014.

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

William Byrd (±1539-1623): O salutaris hostia

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July 7, 2015

O salutaris hostia (O Saving sacrifice) is the final stanza of the hymn Verbum supernum prodiens, composed by Aquinas for the Hour of Lauds in the Office of the Feast of Corpus Christi. It's often selected for use as a hymn in its own right for Benediction and as a motet for Mass after the Offertory. Byrd set it twice, the setting you can hear below is his  four-part setting (ATTB) published in 1605. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Gustav Holst (1874-1934): Summer [from Two Eastern Pictures H112]

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July 6, 2015

Holst was interested in Sanskrit literature and translated several hymns from the Rig Veda which he then set  translations for various combinations of voices. The text of 'Summer' comes from Kalidasa’s poem Ritsusamhara which describes the seasons of the Indian year it's set for female voices and harp and dates from 1911. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Max Bruch (1838-1920): Scottish Fantasy in E-flat major, Op 46 – Jascha Heifetz -YouTube

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July 5, 2015

Bruch composed his Fantasia for the violin with orchestra and harp freely using Scottish folk melodies' in 1879/80 for Pablo de Sarasate it was first performed by Joseph Joachim and the Liverpool Philharmonic Society on 22 February 1881 with the composer conducting. Like many German Romantics Bruch had a fascination with Scotland &mdash, fueled in large part by image of the country transmitted by such writers as Walter Scott and James Macpherson. Bruch drew on James Johnson’s folk-song collection "The Scots Musical Museum" for inspiration and you can hear folk melodies throughout. Enjoy :-)

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

Arvo Pärt – Most Holy Mother of God – The Hilliard Ensemble – YouTube

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July 4, 2015

Arvo Pärt composed this in 2003 for The Hilliard Ensemble. Enjoy :-).
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Kyrie, W. Byrd, Wiltener Sängerknaben, Wilten Boys´ Choir, Johannes Stecher – YouTube

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July 3, 2015

The Kyrie from Byrd Mass for five voices sung by the Wilten Boys´ Choir, under Johannes Stecher in June 2015. Enjoy :-).
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Francisco de Peñalosa (±1470-1528): Sacris Solemnis

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July 2, 2015

This setting of Sacris solemnis is largely a reconstruction by Bruno Turner as only one verse of Peñalosa's setting of  the Corpus Christi hymn is known to have survived. It's an alternatim setting in which Peñalosa’s polyphony alternates with the catchy and popular Spanish melody for the hymn. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Osculetur me

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July 1, 2015

De Lassus used this motet which takes its text from the Song of Songs as the basis for his Mass of the same name. It's an eight-part setting for double choir (SATB SATB) first published in 1582 in Fasciculi aliquot sacrarum it's characterise by long phrasing offset by contrapuntal writing and contrasting sonority between the passages for the individual choirs and the passages for the combined choirs. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

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