Posts Tagged ‘ Baroque choral music ’

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

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BBC Documentary – the Genius of the Monteverdi’s Vespers (HD) – YouTube

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June 14, 2015

One of the superb series of documentaries featuring Simon Russell Beale, with The Sixteen, and Harry Christophers. Enjoy :-)
mfi

BBC Documentary talks about Monteverdi's Vespers and about his relationship with the Duke of Mantua, 4th April 2015.

… … …

Simon Russell Beale travels to Italy to explore the story of the notorious Duke of Mantua and his long-suffering court composer Claudio Monteverdi during the turbulent times of the late Italian Renaissance. Out of the volatile relationship between the duke and the composer came Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, a major turning point in western music. The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, explore some of the radical and beautiful choral music in this dramatic composition.

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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736): — Septem verba a Christo in Cruce — Akademie Für Alte Musik Berlin, René Jacobs

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June 7, 2015

Pergolesi_captioned Is this really by Pergolesi? Musicologists have argued the question for for more than a century. There's no conclusive evidence that it's by him, yes there are monastic manuscripts dating from nearly a quarter century after his death attributing the Septem verba a Christo in cruce moriente prolata  (The Seven Words of the Dying Christ on the Cross) to 'Sig Pergolese' and the set of performing parts at Kremsmünster Abbey in 2009 by Reinhard Fehling which forms the basis for this performance is evidence for its authenticity.  In a way it doesn't matter whether Pergolesi wrote it or not – it's of sufficiently high quality that it can stand, or fall, on its own merits as a piece of music in its own right so I find myself agreeing with Fehling that:

"The question of the work's authenticity must be separated from that of its value. Or, to put it simply, its value does not depend on whether Pergolesi actually wrote it."

That being said I wish people would stop trying to tie it to Pergolesi's best known work. There is simply no basis for saying  "certainly, there are more than faint echoes of his Stabat Mater here" because such echoes – if they exist at all, are dim and distant indeed. It's far more tightly constructed than his other works including the Stabat Mater and the orchestral writing is unlike anything else he ever wrote.

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Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): Missa Sancta Maria à 4 Voci da Capella (Mass of Thanksgiving) – Cantores Musicæ Antiquæ, Live performance

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April 24, 2015

salute interior

Monteverdi's 'Mass of Thanksgiving' or Solemn Mass for the Feast of Sancta Maria della Salute to give it its formal title was specially composed for performance on 21 November 1631 during the ceremonial Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Mark's Basilica held to give thanks for Venice's delivery from the ravages of the plague.  It's a gloriously rich and expressive piece of music written in the Stile Antico packed with variation and musical interest. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Jean GILLES (1668-1705): Messe des Morts – Requiem

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March 15, 2015

Jean Gilles and his music are not now well-known but during his lifetime he was well thought of. His requiem which was composed either in 1704 or 1705 was at one time one of the most admired pieces of music in France. It held sway fro two generations and was performed at the funerals of the great and the famous amongst them Rameau and King Louis XV.  We think of Requiems as dealing with dread and fear – think of Mozart's Dies iræ or Verdi's setting of the Requiem or Berlioz's come to that so Gilles' sometimes jaunty, sometimes cheerful, and sometimes downright sunny setting can come as something of a shock.

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