Posts Tagged ‘ Brabant Ensemble ’

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Missa Ad coenam Agni providi

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April 27, 2014

Palestrina's setting of the Mass, Missa Ad coenam Agni providi takes its name from the first line of the Ambrosian hymn of the same name, and means 'Looking forward to the Lamb’s banquet'. Its publication date of 1554 by the Dorico printing firm makes it one of the first of Palestrina's Masses to be published. It's a complex piece of music with some sections being scored for five parts rather than four. Palestrina took full advantage of the compositional freedom that the ability to add and drop the fifth voice at will gave him and although in places the Mass is quite old-fashioned it's also very assured with beautiful flowing vocal lines and richly figured and expressive harmonies. These qualities place it alongside his better-known works, in fact I've never understood why such a beautiful and expressive piece of music has been so neglected. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Angelus Domini II a 5

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April 20, 2014

Palestrina's recounting of the story of the Angel in the garden appearing to the two women and telling them that Christ is risen is a gloriously sunny and happy piece of music. I love how Palestrina contrasts the floating syncopation at 'quem quaeritis' ('he whom you seek') with the vigour of 'surrexit' ('is risen'). Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Cristóbal de Morales (±1500-1553): Beati omnes qui timent Dominum

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April 5, 2014

The first time I heard this I had to check who it was by. It certainly didn't sound like something by Cristóbal de Morales to me. This piece is downright cheerful and de Morales' music is generally somewhat more … severe. It's a delightfully sunny piece who six-part structure is occasionally punctuated by bursts of something that closely resembles, but isn't quite, homophony. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Lauda Anima Mea

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August 1, 2013

That so much music by a leading master of the Renaissance remains largely unknown provides an opportunity to discover many hidden gems.

Stephen Rice

Palestrina's output was vast and, depending on how you count them, includes nearly 500 motets. These were a great success with no less than seven volumes of them making their appearance during his lifetime but given such a large number of  compositions and the dearth of modern editions at a suitable performing pitch for mixed choirs it's inevitable that many of them are seldom performed today. Mepending on how you look at it this is either a source of sadness or an opportunity for happiness when you come across music you haven't heard before. For myself I go along with Stephen Rice of the Brabant Ensemble who I have quoted above. One such opportunity for happiness is 'Lauda anima mea' you can hear below sung by the Brabant Ensemble conducted by Stephen Rice. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Pierre de Manchicourt (±1510–1564): Regina Cæli

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April 3, 2013

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The Franco-Flemish composer Pierre de Manchicourt's six-voice setting of Regina caeli uses canon in a very unusual and ingenious way to create a piece of music of soaring unforgettable beauty.  

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