Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 4: Ave Regina caelorum a 8

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July 23, 2013

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) Victoria wrote two settings of 'Ave Regina caelorum' a five-part setting published in Venice in 1576 by Angelo Gardane and the eight-part setting that is the subject of this posting which was published in Rome in 1581 by Dominico Basa. Victoria starts with some loose paraphrasis of the Compline plainsong to create an impressive chordal structure which gives way to a more lively passage at 'ex qua mundo lux est orta'  (from whence came the light of the world) closing the first half of the motet. The second part of the motet starts with joyful triple-time antiphonal exchanges calling upon the Virgin to rejoice and hailing her as glorious and and splendid above all others. The motet ends by bidding farewell to the 'most gracious one'  beseeching her in wonderful eight-part counterpoint to 'plead always for us with Christ'. It's sung below by Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by Matin Baker. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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拉縴人少年兒童合唱團 – Butterfly – Taipei Male Choir – YouTube

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July 5, 2013

One of the choirs whose uploads to YouTube I keep  an eye on is the Taipei Male Choir this is them singing Andy Beck's 'Butterfly'. I think you'll agree they sing it very well. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Feature: Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Gaude gloriosa

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July 3, 2013

Mary I Queen of England (Newburgh Prioryc)150x150 CaptionedThis is a monumental piece of work conceived on a grand scale in which Tallis brings to bear all his skill and all his experience to do honour to the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and at the same time to pay a compliment to Queen Mary I of England who was attempting to reunite the deeply Catholic world of her childhood with the partially reformed England she had inherited following the death of her brother Edward VI. In saying 'all his experience' I am placing myself on the side of those who consider this to be a relatively late work rather than a work of Tallis' youth. I have several reasons to believe that Gaude gloriosa or Gaude gloriosa Dei mater (Rejoice, glorious mother of God) to give it its full title is a relatively late work :

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Henry Purcell (1659-1695): In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust Z16

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June 14, 2013

Purcell Closterman Small Purcell's verse anthem In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust (Z16) dates from around 1682 – the middle of the period during which Purcell composed most of his anthems with string accompaniment. Its source is the British Museum's 'Royal' manuscript but it's probably based on an earlier and rougher autograph now held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It's an unusual anthem in that it's opening symphony is set on a ground bass, and that ground bass is in itself unusual in that Purcell recycled it for use in the song O solitude, my sweetest choice something he almost never did.

The Symphony opens the piece it's one complete section and sets a gentle slightly melancholy mood as it progresses you can hear the how the six-note rising scale that characterises the ground bass creates a musical texture leading into the first vocal section. This starts with the soloists echoing each other in declaring their trust in The Lord and begging him to deliver them in his righteousness. The next line 'Incline thine ear unto me and save me' leads into a brief instrumental ritornello which gives way in turn to the countertenor—tenor,  duet 'For thou, O Lord God'. Countertenor and tenor are joined by the bass soloist for 'Through thee have I been holden up ever since I was born … '   with some dropping chromaticism for 'thou art he that took me out of my mother’s womb'. Purcell closes this the second section of the anthem with a lyrical and flowing Symphony full of the the bittersweet harmonies that so define his music.

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Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876): Man That Is Born Of A Woman

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June 8, 2013

samuel sebastian wesley 180x195 captioned Wesley's output of church music was considerable, the quality can be a bit uneven but he composed enough masterpiecs that his style remained influential amongst the generation of musicians and composers who followed him. Even amongst his less happy compositions there's generally movement or two of very high quality that show what could have been were it not for Wesley's mercurial nature that on occasion descended into insanity. Amongst his undoubted masterpieces is 'Man that is born of a woman' which he composed in 1861 for the funeral of the Warden of Winchester College. It's a moving and dignified piece of music full of pathos and showing very clearly Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) influence upon the composer. Indeed so strong was Purcell's influence on this particular piece that Wesley suggested when it was published that Purcell's Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts be sung immediately afterwards. It's sung below by the Choir of Worcester Cathedral conducted by Donald Hunt. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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