Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (±1590-1664): Salve Regina – The Sixteen

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February 28, 2013

Madonna and child in glory Padilla Cathedral The young priest and composer Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla had a glittering career in front of him in Spain. Born in Málaga, around 1590 and trained in that city's cathedral as a musician by Francisco Vásquez he held posts as maestro de capilla at the cathedrals of  Jerez de la Frontera where the cathedral authorities were so pleased by him that they granted him an extra 6000 reales per annum. He left that posting to take up the post of maestro de capilla at Cádiz Cathedral on 17 March 1616 where he remained for about six years.

Exactly when he left left his prestigious and well-paid post in Cádiz for Mexico can't be determined from the extant records  but it was sometime before the autumn of 1622 for on October 11 of that year he was appointed as cantor and assistant maestro at Puebla Cathedral with an annual salary of 500 pesos. Puebla was the second city of this incredibly wealthy province of the Spanish empire and as you might expect de Padilla was well paid for his services with an annual salary of 500 pesos,  together with another 100 pesos a year for recruiting and training new choir members and an extra 40 pesos per annum for composing the villancico-like sacred songs known as chanzonetas.

Puebla Cathedral which was already being called 'The eight wonder of the world' because of it's stunningly beautiful and sumptuous interior  had one of the finest musical establishments in all of the Spanish Americas, a musical establishment that already was certainly on a par with the best in Europe. Only the best would do, and Padilla's posting was no sinecure. That rose to the challenge can be seen throughout his music but particularly in his Salve Regina which you can hear below performed by The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers. It is a beautiful setting of this the greatest of the Marian antiphons, and I think that he must have been inspired both by the text and its subject and the setting in which it was to be performed. There's a sonority and variety of texture to this setting which is quite ravishing while the way in which he uses the double choir technique to exploit the possibilities of the short supplicatory and exclamatory phrases in the text is remarkably effective. Thus for example, at 'Ad te suspiramus …' de Padilla has the four voices mourning and weeping making full use of accidentals and daringly colourful harmonies to stimulate the desired response from the congregation, he managed to do this while simultaneously satisfying his patrons' desire for conservative polyphony and his desire to make full use AMDG of the sound world and compositional modes of the seventeenth century. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (±1590-1664): Stabat Mater – The Sixteen

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February 27, 2013

domepueblacathedralJuan Gutiérrez de Padilla (±1590-1664) was born in the Andulasian city of Málaga, around 1590. He was accepted as a choirboy for the Catedral de Santa María de la Encarnación in the city where he was trained as a chorister, musician, and composer by Francisco Vásquez. He was a talented musician whose reputation quickly spread and who received lucrative offers of employment from prestigious cathedrals. By 1613 he'd accepted a post  as  maestro de capilla at the cathedral in Jérez de la Frontera followed by  several years again as maestro de capilla at the cathedral in Cádiz.  Musical historians don't know when exactly he travelled to Mexico or what inducements he was offered to forsake a glittering career in Spain but they must have been substantial what we do know is that he's recorded in the archives of Puebla's Catedral Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción  as a singer and assistant maestro by 1622 and as maestro de capilla by 1629. He remained as maestro de capilla at the cathedral until his death in 1664. The musical culture he would have encountered at Puebla was rich and varied with works by Palestrina, Morales, Guerrero, Navarro, Victoria, A. Lobo, Rogier, Ghersem, Vivanco all featuring in the choir's repertoire. Nor were the efforts of Mexican composers ignored, the works of Pedro Bermúdez  and Gaspar Fernandez both of whom were amongst de Padilla's predecessors at Puebla feature prominently in the cathedral's musical collections.

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Webcasts – Choir of New College Oxford

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February 24, 2013

New College Choir is the first in Oxford to launch regular webcasts of choral services. Each week one service is selected for webcasting, and is prepared for webcast just a few days later. You will find regular services of choral evensong, as well as major festivals and the Choir’s carol services. At the beginning of […]


Music of the Pater Noster: Vater unser- Jugendkammerchor Dortmund – YouTube

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February 11, 2013

For this week's posting in the 'Music of the Pater Noster' series I've picked the YouTube video of the Jugendkammerchor Dortmund's very evocative performance of the Vater unser. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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Sunday Feature: Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-1377): – Messe de Nostre Dame – Ensemble Gilles Binchois dir. D. Vellard

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February 10, 2013

Lady Chapel Rheims Captioned Machaut

If ever there was a renaissance man then Guillaume de Machaut (c1300-1377) was such a man, I don't think it's possible to overestimate his importance as the single most important 14th century poet and composer or his lasting history of influence on French poetry and European music. The man was unique, his extant works consist mostly of poetry that has not been – and was not intended to be, set to music. His poetic output was enormous some such as the Remede de Fortune  were consciously composed as paradigms of lyric genres, others are in the tradition of  the Roman de la rose, yet others such as the Loange des dames with its 280 poems  'ou il n’a point de chant' ('where there is no music') developed the tradition of the amours courtois. De Machaut's work, and how he presented and preserved it represents a significant step forward in literature towards what we think of as a book.

His place in the history of music is even more certain his lais are remarkably assured and skillful and represent a highpoint in the history of the lai,  while his motets and secular songs in addition to his lais developed and enhanced  the rondeau, the virelai, the ballade. But it's his setting of the Mass that concerns me here it's easy enough to write that Machaut's setting was the first through-composed setting of the Mass by an individual, but what does that mean? And why was it important?

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