Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

Sunday Playlist: Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521): Missa Albanus – The Cardinall’s Musick

September 2, 2012

Fayrfax patron Beaufort I've picked Fayrfax's Missa Albanus for this week's "Sunday Playlist" to serve as a further introduction to Fayrax and his work. It's a lovely piece of music with soaring ethereal polyphony that is very restrained and spare and all the more beautiful for that, it's a piece of music I listen to often. During his life Fayrfax was recognised as a leading composer by King Henry VIII who acknowledged his status as a  leading composer of his generation and rewarded him handsomely. A Lincolnshire man, Fayrfax was born in Deeping Gate on April 23, 1464. There's no surviving record of his schooling or of his earliest musical training but he's known to have had Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443–1509), Countess of Richmond and Derby and King Henry VII's mother as a patron. Her patronage would have led to Fayrfax being established at court and by 1497 he was sufficiently well thought of both as a musician and as a courtier to be appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He studied music in both Cambridge and Oxford receiving the degrees of MusB (1501) and MusD (1504) from Cambridge and was awarded Oxford University's first ever doctorate in music in 1511. He's known to have been present at such important state occasions as Henry VII's funeral, Henry VIII's coronation, the burial of Prince Henry, and the meeting of the kings of England and France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in June 1520. He died in 1521.

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Feature: Francisco de Peñalosa (±1470 -1528) Missa Ave Maria peregrina

August 29, 2012

Peñalosa Guerrero buried Seville CathedalFrancisco de Peñalosa was probably born in 1470 at Talavera de la Reina, near Madrid. His career encompassed the early period of Spain’s Golden Age, the combined effect of the penultimate moments of the Reconquista, the unification of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon under  Ferdinand and Isabella, and the discovery of the New World marked the beginning of Spain's ascent to world dominance in the early sixteenth century. Musically too times were good, there were aristocrats, clergy, and royalty all with an interest in sponsoring music and with the money to do it.

Spanish music and Spanish composers flourished in this atmosphere of confidence and prosperity. The influence of the 'Flemmish school' was pervasive but far from hindering the emergence of composers of real quality such as Peñalosa the Flemish influence provided a framework in which the Spanish composers could experiment with their art with ever-increasing confidence. Of these composers – the generation of composers before the towering figure of Cristóbal de Morales arrived on the scene Peñalosa is, to my mind, the most important.

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Music of The Pater Noster: Plainchant and Mozarabic

August 27, 2012
This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Music Of The Pater Noster

For the second posting in my series dealing with musical settings of the Pater Noster (Our Father) I've uploaded two chant settings of the text. The first is still current use both in Catholic and Anglican usage (Merbecke simplified the plainsong version because of restrictions on the use of plainsong) while the second chant which comes from the Spanish Mozarabic tradition dates from some time prior to the eleventh century. In Mozarabic chant the choir responds with "Amen" to each line sung by the celebrant. Both chants are worth listening to and knowing both as pieces of music in their own right and because the chant melody was used by many composers as the basis for their own settings amongst  them as we shall discover in the next few postings Josquin, Nicolas Gombert, Peñalosa and Palestrina. Both versions of the chant are performed in the recordings below  by The Choir of The Abbey School, Tewkesbury, directed by Benjamin Nicholas. Enjoy :-)


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Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656): It is my well-beloved’s voice – The Swedish Chamber Choir

August 16, 2012

The Swedish Chamber Choir performed Tomkins' charming madrigal "It is my well-beloved's voice" during this year's Musica Sacra International choral competition. The performance was on May 29th 2012 at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (Holy Trinity Church), Kaufbeuren, Germany. Video and lyrics are both below the fold. Enjoy :-).


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Sunday Playlist: Dresdner Kreuzchor performs Choral Masterworks from Gabrieli to Brahms – YouTube

August 12, 2012

Ah Serendipity. I had a posting written and scheduled for this Sunday. But then I saw that bartje11 who runs a musical goldmine of a YouTube channel had posted this musical feast. Enjoy, I already have, repeatedly. :-)


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Forthcoming Posts

  • Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’
  • 6th Sunday of Lent 2014: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross Op 51


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