Posts Tagged ‘ Baroque choral music ’

Alessandro Scarlatti (1660–1725): Cantata pastorale per la natività di Nostre Signore (Christmas Cantata)

0
December 31, 2015

A Scarlatti - Christmas Cantata - Cantata pastorale per la natività di Nostre Signore:
Oh di Betlemme altera povertà
Gertraut Stoklassa, soprano
Purcell Singers / Mainz Chamber Orchestra / Gunter Kerr
1.Sinfonia
2.Recitativo: O di Betlemme
3.Aria: Dal bel seno d'una stella
4.Recitativo: Presa d'uomo la forma
5.Aria: L'Autor d'ogni mio bene
6.Recitativo: Fortunati pastori
7.Aria: Toccò la prima sorte a voi

This recording is to the best of my knowledge only available on an LP long out of print. While I have carefully removed clicks, pops, static and surface noise wherever possible, I have NOT used any radical equalization adjustments to do so.

This is still one of the best – if not the best recordings of this around, there's a beautifully warm tone to the performance. I'm delighted to have found it again after so many years. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704): Messe de minuit pour Noël (Mass for the First Mass of Christmas)

0
December 25, 2015

Charpentier wrote his Messe de minuit pour Noël (Mass for the First Mass of Christmas|Christmas Midnight Mass) sometime in the early 1690s. It was written for Christmas midnight Mass in the main Jesuit church in Paris and combines traditional French carols with Italianate contrapuntal writing. Each section of the Mass is based upon a different carol melody:

  • Joseph est bien marié → Kyrie
  • Or nous dites. Marie → Christe
  • Une jeune pucelle →last Kyrie
  • Les bourgeois de Châtre & Ou s'en vont ces gais bergers →Gloria
  • Vous qui désirez sans fin, Voici le jour solennel de Noël, & A la venue de Noël → Credo
  • O Dieu, que n'étois-je en vie →Sanctus
  • A minuit fut fait un réveil →Agnus dei. 

It's a charming and cheerful piece of music – surprisingly relaxing, that's characterised by alternation between the soloists and the choir and some very subtle instrumental accompaniment. Enjoy  :-).

mfi

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

Vivaldi – Lauda Jerusalem – Alessandrini

0
November 25, 2015

I wrote about this setting of Psalm 147 as part of my series of postings dealing with Vivaldi's religious music. Here's my description from that posting:

This single-movement sett­ing of the Lauda, Jerusalem (RV609) dates from some­time dur­ing the 1720s. Vival­di set it for two choirs each of which had a sop­rano sol­o­ist, four parts, and str­ing ac­compani­ment and at some point – per­haps in 1739 when he was en­gaged in sup­ply­ing new works to the Pietà he added the names of four of the Pietà's choir­girls to the manu­script. It's a good ex­am­ple of his con­cer­tos in­fluen­ced his church music as with its al­ter­nat­ing fully scored and lig­ht­ly scored sec­tions, and inter-passage epi­sodes based on re­cur­rent materi­al it fol­lows the ritonel­lo form very close­ly. The highlight of the piece for me is its doxology it's based on an an­onym­ous Lauda, Jerusalem which Vival­di had in his col­lec­tion and whenev­er I hear it I wish I knew who the com­pos­er was so that I could track down other works of his. Whoev­er he was, he was good. Enjoy :-).

See: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Lauda, Jerusalem RV609 | Saturday Chorale

The performance I used to illustrate the piece was the Gritton/Milne/King's Consort one – it's a performance I greatly enjoy but this taut and thrilling performance by the Concerto Italiano conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini with solos by Gemma Bertagnolli (soprano) and  Roberta Invernizzi (soprano) is well worth your while listening to if only for the purposes of comparison. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Giovanni Antonio Rigatti (±1613-1649): Magnificat (The Venetian Vespers)

0
November 3, 2015

Photo: Interior view of Udine Cathedral where Rigatti was maestro di capella before returning to Venice. The cathedral authorities were so pleased to have acquired his services that they paid him double the salary of his predecessor.

Photo: Interior view of Udine Cathedral where Rigatti was maestro di capella before returning to Venice. The cathedral authorities were so pleased to have acquired his services that they paid him double the salary of his predecessor.


Giovanni Antonio Rigatti was one of the two the most important composers at St Mark's in the period following Monteverdi's death in 1643 (the other was Giovanni Rovetta – mfi) .  He was born in Venice and started his musical career as a choirboy in St. Mark's aged either six or eight depending on whether you believe he was born in 1613 or 1615. I can't tell you anything about his musical education but what I can tell you is from September 1635 until March 1637 he was maestro di cappella of Udine Cathedral and that the Cathedral authorities were so pleased to have him that they awarded him a salary twice that of his predecessor, Orindio Bartolini. Not bad for somebody who was at most twenty years old!

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

Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): Herren, vår Gud

0
October 9, 2015
Photo: Interior Tyska Kyrkan (Old German Church), Stockholm, Düben in whose collection Herren, vår Gud is found was organist at the German Church and at court. It seems more than likely that it was he who commissioned the piece for use at both locales.

Photo: Interior Tyska Kyrkan (Old German Church), Stockholm, Düben in whose collection Herren, vår Gud is found was organist at the German Church and at court. It seems more than likely that it was he who commissioned the piece for use at both locales.

This is one of the only two Swedish texted works by Buxtehude to have survived (I wrote about the other one at the start of September, see Dieterich Buxtehude (±1637-1707): Att du Jesu vill mig höra | Saturday Chorale – mfi). The text of Herren, vår Gud (The Lord Our God) is a poetic paraphrasis of Psalm 20 and the melody can be found in Den Svenska psalmboken Koralbok, published in 1697. I don't know who it was composed for but I think it most likely that it was composed for Düben who was the organist at the German Church in Stockholm for use both at court and at the church. Nor do I know where the melody actually comes from however it could have been a pre-existing melody or it could be of Buxtehude's own devising because while the Swedish psalter was published in 1697 Buxtehude's composition predates it by at least ten years.

Musically it's a very typically Buxtehudian piece that starts with a tremolo of repeated eight notes to denote sorrow and with a body consisting of a  concertato chorale in which he combines the instrumental elements of the concerto with the four-part harmonisations of the Swedish Lutheran hymnbook. He ends with a cheerfully bouncy Amen signifying the congregation's confidence that their prayer has been heard. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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

Archives

Special Pages