Posts Tagged ‘ English Choirs ’

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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The St. Philips Boy’s Choir (Libera) – Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord

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January 3, 2015

Before they were known as Libera the boys of the St. Philips Boys Choir were called "Angel Voices" and Libera to this day is a subset of the St. Philips Boys Choir. As the St. Philips Boys Choir they recorded several albums amongst the pieces they recorded was David Evans' hymn "Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord" the soloists were Oliver Putland and Daren Geraghty. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Orlande de Lassus (±1530-1594): Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam

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November 11, 2014

De Lassus' four-part setting of the first verses of Psalm 55 is unusual precisely because it is a four-part setting. Less than a quarter of his surviving motets are for four parts. It's a lovely piece very supplicatory in tone as you might expect from Psalm 55. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): O Lord Blessed be thy name

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November 6, 2014

Tallis 180 x 1501641 was a momentous year in English and Irish history during that year Strafford the King's right hand man was impeached by Parliament, tried, and executed. Archbishop Laud was imprisoned, Parliament passed The Triennial Act,  there was a major Irish Uprising,  and Parliament issued The Grand Remonstrance.  Less momentous perhaps but no less important from a musical standpoint John Barnard published the sole collection of liturgical music to be published in England in the eighty years between 1560s and the Civil War.  The 'First Book of Selected Church Musick' as it was called contained only compositions from composers who who were no longer living and whose works represented the Elizabethan and Jacobean repertory of English cathedrals and major parish churches. Amongst this repertory were four English contrafcta by Tallis of which Blessed be thy name — a contrafactum of Mihi autem nimis, is one. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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