Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

Southwell Minster Choir: On Jordan’s Bank – YouTube

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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

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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 :-).

markfromireland

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.

mfi

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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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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria: Part 12 Ave Maris Stella a 4 (1581 Setting)

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September 17, 2013

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) Victoria set the Hymn Ave maris stella twice he published this version in 1581 and a second one in 1600. The 1581 setting is a four-part setting of the annunciation hymn text written as was customary in 'alternatim' style that is with verses set to chant and polyphony alternately with the chant to which Victoria makes continuous reference the result is a musical meditation upon the hymn text which in this recording ends with the versicle and response "Ave Maria, gratia plena."

markfromireland

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The Marian Music of Tomás Luis de Victoria Part 11: Magnificat septimi toni

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September 10, 2013

Madonna with the Child (Luis de Morales circa 1520-1586) Victoria wrote eighteen settings of the Magnificat of which sixteen are four-part settings and two are large-scale polychoral works setting all the verses of the canticle after an opening plainsong intonation. The Magnificat septimi toni which you can hear below sung by the Westminster Cathedral Choir conducted by Martin Baker is one of the polychoral settings. It's preceded by a a short plainsong antiphon 'Gabriel Angelus' and opens with a brief intonation of the  word 'magnificat'.  Thereafter Victoria sets it alternatim – the odd-numbered verses are polyphonic while the even-numbered ones are plainsong. It's mostly SATB but Victoria adds variety by employing reduced forces, ATB or SAT, in some places. It's quite an intimate piece of music very fugal in styles with many of its motifs derived from  from the plainsong. It's a setting I greatly admire and often listen to. I enjoy the triple-time setting he uses for both 'Suscepit Israel …' and the final  verse plainsong verse but the higlight for me is how in the five-part setting of Gloria (Gloria Patri …) the trebles sing the plainsong in gloriously soaring long notes above the lower voices' polyphony. It takes a really good choir who know what they're about to bring this off but when they do – oh my. Victoria ends and brings us gently back to earth by having the choir repeat the last plainsong verse followed by a repetition of the antiphon. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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