Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

Feature: Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548 – 1611): Missa pro defunctis a 4

October 21, 2013

If you search for de Victoria's Masses or you survey the literature dealing with his music you could easily assume that he only ever wrote one Requiem - the one dating from 1605, in fact he wrote two and the 1605 composition owes a very heavy debt to the 1583 one. Whenever I tell people this it almost always comes as a great surprise to them which in turn surprises me.

Tomás Luis de Victoria was a Catholic priest a product of the counter-reformation as it unfolded in Spain. If there is one man whose music epitomises the counter-reformation de Victoria is that man. His illustrious predecessors Francisco Guerrero and Cristóbal de Morales had made notable contributions to the genre, a genre which had been a well-established part of Spanish religious culture since at least the latter part of the Middle Ages. It's not surprising that Victoria wrote more than one setting of the Requiem or the Missa pro defunctis to give it its proper title on the contrary it would have been astonishing if de Victoria had not made the composition of a Missa pro defunctis one of his earliest compositional tasks.

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You gotta generate heat. Choir "Melody". Europian Choir Games. Graz. Austria 2013. ЖДШИ (Жуковский) – YouTube

October 12, 2013

How about we start the weekend with some singing and dancing? Can you listen and watch this without tapping your feet? Enjoy :-)


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Southwell Minster Choir: On Jordan’s Bank – YouTube

October 9, 2013

Sung by The Southwell Minster Choir, for Radio 3.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart(1756-1791): Regina Caeli in C KV108

September 19, 2013

Lynda Russell 150x195 captioned Mozart composed three settings of the Marian antiphon Reginal caeli. This one Reginal caeli in C KV108 is generally believed to have been written in May 1771 for Michael Haydn's wife Maria Magdalena Lipp. It's a festal setting that sets two quite long arias for soprano. It's a piece of music I always enjoy listening to particularly the lovely lilting second movement with its marvellously graceful dance enchanced yet further by flutes and the third movement in which you can hear how Mozart was influenced by his visit to Naples. Its sung below by Choir of St. Paul's Cathedral, London accompanied by St. Paul's Mozart Orchestra conducted by Andrew Carwood. The soloist was Lynda Russel. Enjoy :-).


PS: If you're an opera buff and you suspect that the final movement foreshadows Figaro and Susanna’s duet 'Se a caso madama' you're right it does.


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Robert Parsons (circa 1535-1572): Magnificat

September 18, 2013

"Robt. Parsons was drowned at Newark uppon Trent
the 25th of Januarie, and Wm. Bird sworne gentleman
in his place at the first the 22d of Februarie
followinge, A° 14° Lincolne".

We don't know why Robert Parsons, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, was travelling near Newark on that fateful night in January 1572 but it seems likely that he was visiting the rectories in the area whose livings he had been granted. The grant of such livings was a sign of the esteem in which the monarch held him. What his fellow musicians thought of him is clear from a Latin couplet found in the Dow partbooks:

"Qui tantus primo Parsone in flore fuisti
Quantus in autumno ni morere fores.
Parsons, you who were so great in the springtime
of life, how great you would have been in the
autumn, had death not come."

His setting of the Magnificat is in the tradition of the Eton Choirbook and must have been composed during the reign of Queen Mary I for performance during Vespers because:

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