Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Christus factus est

0
November 10, 2014

There are only two people who have ever held the post of composer to the Papal choir one of them was Palestrina and the other was Felice Anerio. Christus factus est is a perfect example of why his fellow musicians held him in such esteem. Its text is from the Epistle to the Philippians and it was intended to be sung as the gradual on Passion Sunday, it's a beautifully simple homophonic work that eschews modality and ornamentation in favour of a simple but oh so effective directness. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Sunday Concert: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Mass in C minor (The Great) KV 427

0
November 9, 2014

w a mozart 170x140 When Mozart's fiancée Constance Weber fell seriously ill in 1783 Mozart swore to God that if she recovered he would compose a major Mass to give thanks. When she recovered Mozart started to compose the Mass but for some reason or another he never completed it. He wrote the the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus and parts of the Credo but not the remainder of the Mass. Notwithstanding the fact that it's incomplete it's a major – and wonderful, piece of music with a distinctly operatic tinge.

I really don't know where to start in listing its highpoints if I had to pick just one section of it I suppose it would have to be the adagio passage for chorus in the Gloria 'Gratias agimus tibi propter gloriam tuam' (We give thanks to you for your great glory), but then if I did that I'd miss the serenely beautiful soprano duet at 'Domine deus, rex celestis' (Lord God, heavenly King), and that's just from the Gloria. Far better to just revel in the whole thing. It's performed below at a concert given on Friday October 24th 2014  by the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century with soloists Ilse Eerens [soprano], Rosanne van Sandwijk [mezzosoprano], Ben Heijnen [tenor], and Pierre-Guy Le Gall White [bas] conducted by Daniel Reuss.  Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Drakie Quintet "The Big Five" – Drakensberg Boys Choir Ensemble

0
November 8, 2014

A group of very talented Drakies showing what they can do. They clearly enjoyed themselves greatly — Puts a grin on my face every time I watch it. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Meta

Pages

Philip Stopford (Arr): For Mary Mother

0
November 7, 2014

A new piece from one of my favourite English composers of choral music is an event I always enjoy.

For Mary Mother Of Our Lord, arranged Philip Stopford. Sung by Ecclesium

Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): O Lord Blessed be thy name

0
November 6, 2014

Tallis 180 x 1501641 was a momentous year in English and Irish history during that year Strafford the King's right hand man was impeached by Parliament, tried, and executed. Archbishop Laud was imprisoned, Parliament passed The Triennial Act,  there was a major Irish Uprising,  and Parliament issued The Grand Remonstrance.  Less momentous perhaps but no less important from a musical standpoint John Barnard published the sole collection of liturgical music to be published in England in the eighty years between 1560s and the Civil War.  The 'First Book of Selected Church Musick' as it was called contained only compositions from composers who who were no longer living and whose works represented the Elizabethan and Jacobean repertory of English cathedrals and major parish churches. Amongst this repertory were four English contrafcta by Tallis of which Blessed be thy name — a contrafactum of Mihi autem nimis, is one. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Descendi in hortum meum

0
November 5, 2014

Pomegranate in Bud

Descendi in hortum meum (I went down into my garden) is the twenty-fourth in the se­ries of twenty-nine motets based upon Song of Songs pub­lished by Palestrina to meet the de­mand for music to be sung at the meet­ings of the many re­ligi­ous groups, ord­ers, and sodalit­ies spring­ing up during the re­ligi­ous re­viv­al then tak­ing place in Italy . Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Search the site by typing into the box

Click any of these tags to see a list of postings on that topic

Edgar Bainton (1880–1956): And I Saw A New Heaven

0
November 4, 2014

Bainton Edgar Bainton (1880–1956) is best known as a composer of church music and is a somewhat neglected composer in England he studied under Stanford at the Royal College of Music and starting in 1901  first a teacher and then from 1912 principal at Newcastle-upon-Tyne's Conservatoire.  In 1914 he travelled to Bayreuth for the festival when World War I broke out the German authorities arrested and interned him for the duration of the war as "a male enemy alien of military age"  at Ruhleben, near Berlin.

When the war ended he returned to his post in Newcastle. He spent much of his time touring Commonwealth countries and in 1934 he and his family moved to Australia where he took up a posting as director of the New South Wales State Conservatorium in Sydney. He's best remembered in Australia as a composer of operas and for introducing music by composers such as   Bax, Debussy, Delius, Sibelius, and Walton. His music of which 'And I Saw A New Heaven' is typical is in a late-romantic idiom and shows none of the folk influences of many of his contemporaries such as Vaughan Williams. It's probably the best known of his works, he composed it in 1938 and it's now firmly ensconced in the repertoire including such notable occasions as the Memorial Service for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599): Beata Dei genitrix

0
November 3, 2014

Beata Dei genitrix (Blessed mother of God) is one of many motets composed by Guerrero in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's a powerful and yet beautifully serene song in her praise that Guerrero published first in 1585 and then again in 1589. It's a six-part (SSAATB) motet that's musically divided into two halves and ends in a plea that she will intervene 'pro devoto femineo sexu' – for all female devotees. Prior to hearing this performance by La Grande Chappelle I knew it only from a recording by The Tallis Scholars. On balance I think I prefer this performance which is less mannered than the Tallis Scholars' performance. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Documentary: Experiencing Bach – The performance and recording of a Bach Cantata

0
November 2, 2014

Documentary about the J. S. Bach Foundation. Find out more about this foundation who performs all Bach cantatas within 25 years.

One of the YouTube channels I keep an eye on is that of the Swiss J.S. Bach Foundation St. Gallen their goal is to perform J.S. Bach's complete vocal works in order to provide the public, in particular young people, with "a better understanding of the composer's work". This is harder than it sounds not least because these works – especially the cantatas are often relatively short but they still require an orchestra playing period instruments, a choir, and often soloists. All of this is quite expensive as you may imagine.  They've just upload a documentary (English dubbed) that shows the work and effort that goes into each performance. I found it fascinating. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Renaissance Choral Music – Live in Dublin

0
November 1, 2014

Paul McGough who conducts the Irish A Capella group "Crux Vocal Ensemble" has asked me to tell my Irish readers that his group sings much of the type of music I write about here on the first Sunday of every month at the 9:30am mass at St. Mary's Church, Haddington Road, Dublin 4. Tomorrow they'll be singing the following:

  • Introit: Guerrero (1528-1599): Missa pro defunctis: Introit: Requiem
  • Mass: Guerrero: Missa pro defunctis
  • Collection: Guerrero: Laudate Dominum
  • Offertory: Guerrero: Pan Divino
  • Communion: Vasquez (1500-1560): Sicut Cervus
  • Recessional: Bach BWV 162 Chorale: 'Ach! ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe' (sung in English translation)

I've only once ever heard them sing and that was several years ago — I thought at the time they were a talented choir who showed great promise.

mfi

Thomas Weelkes (1576–1623): Hosanna to the Son of David

0
November 1, 2014

This is a remarkably powerful piece of music that confirms were such a confirmation necessary that Weelkes was an outstandingly talented composer. It's an evocation of Matthew 21:9 in which the Evangelist depicts the crowd's reaction to Christ's entry into Jerusalem. You can hear their enthusiasm which Weelkes underscores by repeating their initial cry of welcome and aclamation "Hosanna" twice during the anthem. It's a stunning piece of music which must have thrilled its Stuart era audience whenever they heard it. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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

Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Wipe away my sins, O Lord

0
October 31, 2014

When the First Book of Common Prayer was introduced on Whitsunday, 9 June 1549 the need for a repertory of service music in the vernacular became urgent. One way of plugging the gap was to make use of what is known as a contrafactum (plural contrafacta) of which this is one.

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

Special Pages