Posts Tagged ‘ Cantus Firmus ’

John Sheppard (±1515-1558): Libera nos, salva nos I

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July 21, 2014

Although the text of Libera nos, salva nos is from the first antiphon at Matins on Trinity Sunday its  plea to to the Holy Trinity for freedom, redemption, and absolution is so general in tone that Sheppard's setting which most probably dates from his time at Magdalen College, Oxford was used on other occasions not the least of them being the twice-daily readings of this very text stipulated in Magdalen's statutes. It'smore than a little unusual for Sheppard's works because as you listen you can hear the cantus firmus in the lower voice. As a result of this the rate at which the harmonies change are really rather slow and this together with its modal stability creates the mood of serenity which deepens as the piece unfolds. It's one of my favourites amongs Sheppard's pieces for this reason. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Feature: Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497) – Missa L’homme armé

February 19, 2014

Clerks Group 325x302 captionedIn common with other composers of his era Johannes Ockeghem (1410-1497) composed a setting of the Mass using the catchy popular song L'homme armé (The armed man) as a cantus firmus underpinning the structure. Unlike many of his contemporaries in Ockeghem's setting you can clearly hear it right throughout the work. In the playlist below you can hear it sung first in a version by Robert Mouton, combined with a rondeau Il sera pour vous which was one of its earliest polyphonic settings. Followed by the Mass. I particularly love how in the Agnus Dei it appears, oh so slowly, in the bass, taken down to low G to stunning effect. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Robert Parsons (c1535-1572): Peccantem me quotidie

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November 4, 2013

AllSaintsChurchSturtoncaptioned

We don't know all that much about Robert Parsons although as he was an assistant to Richard Bower, Master of the Children Choristers of the Chapel Royal until 1561 it seems likely that he started his musical career as a choir boy. He was appointed Gentleman of the Chapel Royal on 17 October 1563 and in 1567 was granted a Crown lease for twenty-one years on three rectories near Lincoln (‘Sturton, Randbie and Staynton’) and may have taught William Byrd who succeeded to his post as Gentleman of the Chapel Royal following Parsons' death by drowning near Newark-on-Trent. Not much of his music survives nine pieces in Latin, two Services in English, two anthems in English, a few secular songs and even fewer instrumental pieces including five In nomines. It seems to me to be likely that Parsons wasn't active as a composer during the reign of Edward VI. 'Peccantem me quotidie' the work featured in this post to my mind dates very clearly from Mary's reign because Parsons designed its structure to  conform to the liturgical needs of the Sarum rite. The music itself which dramatically underscores the fervency of the text makes me wish that more of his compositions had survived. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 15: Missa De Beata Maria Virgine

October 8, 2013

Morales Madonna and Child 02-In this, the final posting in my series of fifteen exploring de Victoria's Marian music I deal with his setting of the Mass 'Missa De Beata Maria Virgine'. Victoria's 'Missa De Beata Maria Virgine' (Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary) was first published by Angelo Gardano in Venice in 1576 and then again by his brother Alessandro in Rome in 1583. It's one of Victoria's paraphrase Masses (a paraphrase Mass is a Mass based on plainsong). In this case the plainsong(s) in question is the twelfth-century Gregorian plainsong Mass IX, 'Cum iubilo' - which was the Mass designated for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Credo I. Obviously enough Victoria builds upon plainsong throughout the Mass but what's unusual about this Mass is how he did it. Which is is that he based the separate movements of the Mass on different plainsong melodies, and sometimes on different modes. When a composer sets a Mass in this way the result is what's called a 'non-cyclic' Mass.

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Robert Parsons (c1535-1572): Peccantem me quotidie

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June 27, 2012

Post deleted because of technical problems with player. Go here for corrected version of posting: http://saturdaychorale.com/2013/11/04/robert-parsons-c1535-1572-peccantem-me-quotidie-2/

markfromireland

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