Posts Tagged ‘ Choral Music ’

Edwin Fissinger (1920-1990): Lux aeterna

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June 5, 2013

Edwin Fissinger (1920-1990) Recordings of Fissinger's music are now ludicrously exensive and very hard to come by even if you are prepared to pay US$99.99 for a second-hand CD (I'm not). So I was very glad to see his 'Lux aeterna' on the track list for Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir Cambridge's recent CD of late twentieth century American A Capella music. Fisssinger's career as a conductor and composer spanned forty-five years and was by no means confined to choral works of which he wrote one hundred and eighty three. All of his published music is certainly well worth listening to whether it's one of his orchestral, piano, or vocal compositions there's a lively and very distinctive musical imagination at work that attracted the attention of his fellow members of the American Choral Director’s Association of which he was a founder member. Perhaps that's why if you hear his work at all these days you tend to it hear it being such by All-State Choirs at regional and national ACDA conventions.

He composed Lux aeterna in 1982 dedicating it to the memory of his wife and one of his composition students who had been killed in a car accident. In it Fissinger combines Gregorian motifs with clustered chordal harmonisations that remind me more than somewhat of Holst's Nunc dimittis. As Lux aeterna progresses from its bottom-upward beginning you can hear the soloists voices flying free of the clustered choral textures as the souls, freed from earthly bondage begin their ascent. It's sung below by The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge conducted by Stephen Layton. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Ola Gjeilo(b. 1978) : Ubi caritas – Schweizer JugendChor; Dominique Tille – YouTube

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June 1, 2013

Ola Gjeilo Captioned 150x183 I've written about Ola Gjeilo's setting of 'Ubi Caritas' before (see: Ola Gjeilo with the CWU Chamber Choir: Ubi Caritas (1st version) | Saturday Chorale ) in the few years since Gjeilo first published it it's become very popular with choirs and deservedly so it's got a beautiful melody that starts by evoking plain chant that evolves almost imperceptibly into a wider and more modern use of harmonics. Even better it's a very accessible piece that can, and has been, easily be mastered by a good secondary school choir. The Schweizer JugendChor (Swiss Youth Choir) performed it on May 18th 2013 during the first lap of the first round of the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf 2013. You can hear them singing a somewhat shortened version of it below under the direction of their conductor Dominique Tille. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Surgens Jesus Dominus

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May 6, 2013

Philips' Easter motet 'Surgens Jesus Dominus' (Christ our Lord rising)  which he published in 1612 inCantiones Sacrae has a wonderful sense of forward movement and of joy. I particularly like how he sets Jesus' words apart from the rest of the moter by using three simple block chords to emphasise them. It's sung below by the Tudor Consort conducted by Peter Walls. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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PCSM (Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc)- Les orphelins – YouTube

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April 24, 2013

The  Petits Chanteurs De Saint Marc performing Les orphelins at their concert given in Tours on April 6th 2013. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Ego sum panis vivus

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April 23, 2013

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Byrd published 'Ego sum panis vivus' (I am the living bread) in 1607 in the second book of the Gradualia. It's a gentle and optimistic piece of music sung below by the Choir of Winchester Cathedral conducted by David Hill. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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