Posts Tagged ‘ English Choirs ’

Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856): The Angels’ Goodnight

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May 9, 2015

Schumann's four-part setting of Friedrich Rückert's poem was first published in 1846. It's known and loved in the anglophone world in translation as The Angels' Goodnight sung here by the Tewkesbury Abbey School Choir directed by Benjamin Nicholas. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Stella quam viderant Magi – Choir of Trinity College Cambridge

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May 6, 2015

The Epiphany text Stella quam viderant Magi  was frequently set by Sixteenth century composers at least twenty of whom including Josquin Desprez and Palestrina set it. Palestrina's setting is sung here by the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge directed by Stephen Darlington during Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, 14th January 2015. I've put the text and translation below the video. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Miserere nostri

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March 30, 2015

Miserere nostri is unusual amongst Tallis' motets in being set for more than five parts and in following a continental double canon model rather than an English model. It's for six voices with a seventh (tenor) voice making an appearance once for harmonic reasons.

mfi

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Victoria’s "Officium Defunctorum" | Westminster Cathedral | 2nd November 2011

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March 1, 2015

BBC Radio 3 Solemn Requiem Mass for the Faithful Departed from Westminster Cathedral, 2nd November, 2011

Tomás Luis de Victoria's Officium defunctorum of 1605

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John Taverner (±1490—1545): O splendor gloriae

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February 18, 2015

Taverner's Jesus antiphon O splendor gloriae probably dates from Taverner's later years in Boston and was most likely a commission from the Boston Guild of Corpus Christi, to Taverner he belonged. It's composed on a very grand scale but the scale in no way detracts from the clarity of its texture. Taverner made heavy use of imitation when he was writing it and also  made use of repetition in the latter part of the piece. In doing so he was further laying the groundwork for English sacred music to move away from the abstract melismatic style that still prevailed towards a more modern direct expressiveness that reflected the text. It represents a move away from medievalism to a renaissance sensibility. All of this is within a very English structure that exploits the high tessitura treble to maximum effect. If ever there was a work that testifies to the extraordinarily high standards of pre-reformation English choristers that Taverner and his fellow composers could take for granted this is it. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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