Posts Tagged ‘ Compline ’

Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650): Missa Miserere mihi Domine

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March 29, 2015

Miserere mihi, Domine, et exaudi orationem meam.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, and hearken unto my prayer.

The  penitential chant Miserere mihi, Domine is the Psalm antiphon for Sunday Compline, Cardoso set this Mass using it as the Cantus Firmus. As with other Portugese sacred polyphony from the first half of the seventeenth century it's rather old-fashioned in some ways. It reminds me of Victoria's work full of sonority and with enough musical variation in the longer passages to maintain interest. Despite being such a conservative work inspired by the Renaissance and Palestrina you can hear  throughout the work some of the new harmonic ideas of the Baroque and it is this skilful juxtapositioning of the old and the new that give this Mass its very considerable appeal. It's performed below by the Ensemble Vocal Européen directed by Philippe Herreweghe.

mfi

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Robert White (±1538-1574): Christe qui lux es et dies (IV)

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March 11, 2015

White set the Lenten compline hymn "Christe qui lux es et dies" (O Christ who are light and day) no less than four times of which the setting which you can hear below is the fourth.  It's a very sophisticated and beautiful piece of music that follows the traditional alteratim structure with the polyphonic verses being built around the chant. It's a wonderful piece of fluid writing that makes stunning use of imitation and with a glorious quaver effect in the final verse. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Miserere nostri, Domine

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March 5, 2015

The phrase "Miserere nostri, Domine" (Have mercy on us Lord) appears twice in the Liturgy once as  the third verse of psalm 122 and again as the second last verse of the Te Deum. The phrase itself is an alternative form of the more familiar Miserere nobis found in the ordinary of the Mass. It's one of three texts collectively referred to as "Miserere" texts, Miserere Mei, Miserere Mihi, and Miserere Nostri and all three texts are of interest to us as music lovers because during the reign of Elizabeth II a tradition developed amongst English composers of setting the 'Miserere' texts to canonic musical settings as a demonstration of their technical mastery of the compositional arts. If you like Elizabethan polyphonic music and the text being set is one of the Miserere texts you can be pretty sure you're in for a treat.

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Edward Bairstow (1874–1946): Save us, O Lord

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March 3, 2015

Bairstow started out as a teacher but in 1893 he took up a post combining the duties of pupil and amanuensis to Frederick Bridge at Westminster Abbey. From there he progressed through various posts as organist and choirmaster until eventually taking up the post of organist in of York Minster in 1913 a post he held until his death. "Save us, O Lord" ís a setting of a Compline antiphon that dates from 1902 when Bairstow was organist of Wigan Parish Church. It's a lovely flowing piece with seamless transitions between the entries for organ and the choir and is probably his best-known and best-loved piece. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Quod chorus vatum

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February 2, 2015

Tallis' setting of Rabanus Maurus' (776-856) text Quod chorus vatum sung here by the Chapelle du Roi under Alistair Dixon. Quod chorus vatum is the Hymn at Vespers on the Feast of the Purification (Candlemas) which falls on February 2nd.  Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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