Hermannus Contractus (1013-1054): Salve Regina

The Marian antiphon Salve Regina sung here by the Hilliard Ensemble’s counter-tenor David James. This performance, the performance by Henry’s Eight about which I wrote on November 26, 2013, and the performance by the child choristers of Salisbury Cathedral about which I wrote on July 15, 2013 are three performances of it as chant that…

Quotiescumque manducabitis panem hunc

Another setting of a Pauline text today,  this time Corinthians 11 1 26-27  Quotiescumque manducabitis panem hunc (For as often as you shall eat this bread) as it would have been sung in England under the Sarum rite’s usage at the high-point of the Mass. Enjoy :-). mfi

Beata viscera (plainchant)

The plainchant Communion motet of the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when…

Benedicta et venerabilis es (plainchant)

The Gradual for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when it was…

Beatam me dicent – Antiphona ad communionem

This communion antiphon is sung here as it would have been sung in Venice during a Marian Mass, that is a Mass offered within the framework of a liturgy set out for a Marian feast day. The chant in this case is taken from the Commune Festorum B. Mariae Virginis which set out the liturgically…

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Psalm 67

Ešenvalds setting of Psalm 67 was premiered by Stephen Layton and Polyphony in Amsterdam in 2012  a very traditional Anglican chant sounding baritone solo is responded to by the full choir singing a very chordal setting of the text. It’s very chromatic writing which shifts and mixes mood between praise and apprehension. The chant melody…

Salve sancta parens

Salve sancta parens (Hail, holy parent,) is set as the Introit at Lady Mass in Eastertide and the Introit at Mass for the Nativity of the Virgin and as such has been set by composers from medieval times on. Good recordings of the chant are relatively rare particularly when sung using medieval Latin pronunciation with…

Corpus Christi 2016 – Ave Verum Corpus

The boys of the Senior’s Boy’s Schola  of Glenstal Benedictine Abbey, Limerick, Ireland, sing Ave verum corpus the 14th century hymn to the Blessed Sacrament attributed to Pope Innocent VI appointed to be sung on the feast of  Corpus Christi. mfi

Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521): Antiphona Regali Ex Progenie

This very brief antiphon — the third antiphon at Vespers of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the cantus firmus for Fayrfax’s Mass setting Missa Regali Ex Progenie, the Mass which I’ll post at sometime in the future is an early work but is no less beautiful for that. enjoy :-). mfi

Vespers – Deus in adiutorium

I’m quite often asked ‘What is Vespers?’  Vespers is a one of the liturgical Hours or "offices" that are celebrated at defined moments of the day. The word comes from Latin ‘vespera’ which means ‘evening’ and the office of Vespers was held1 between 5 and 6pm (17:00 – 18:00). Vespers followed a strict pattern: 1:…

Gregorian Chant: Victimae paschali laudes

Victimae Paschali is the Sequence for Easter Sunday and is one of only four that survived the Council of Trent and other reforms. It’s variously attributed Robert II of France (tenth century), Notker Balbulus (tenth century), and Wipo of Burgundy (eleventh century). For textual reasons I think that Balbulus is the most of the three…

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Vexilia Regis (more hispano)

In Tomás Luis de Victoria’s time Venantius Fortunatus’  hymn Vexilla Regis with its strong connection with the cross was sung at Vespers from Passion Sunday which coincides with Palm Sunday through to Good Friday. Victoria’s setting was published in the Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae which he published in 1585. In the original printing de Victoria described…

Veni, Redemptor gentium

  I suppose that Veni, redemptor gentium which was composed by St. Ambrose of Milan (340-397) was the original Christmas hit. Its text is beautifully wrought poetry that is  known and loved both in its original Latin but also in translation. Luther admired it greatly and gave us Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland while in…

Music for First Sunday of Advent 2015

I had a certain amount of trouble deciding what to upload for the start of Advent 2015 there are so many wonderful settings of Rorate Cæli that really we’re spoilt for choice. Eventually I decided that while many lovers of choral music will have heard, for example, Byrd’s setting relatively few will be familiar with…