Posts Tagged ‘ English choral music ’

George Malcolm (1917-1997): Miserere mei Deus

2
April 16, 2014

Psalm 51 – the Miserere, is the Biblical text around which the Ash Wednesday liturgy revolves. George Malcolm's setting (Malcolm was Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral between 1947 and 1959) is an alternatim setting of the Psalm. It's a beautiful piece of work that deserves to be far better known in which Malcolm switches between the higher and lower voices in an unadorned second mode chant which he offsets with polyphonic expansions and variations. The voices join together for the second half of the Gloria  in a descant of great power and beauty.

markfromireland

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Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’

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April 9, 2014

Gibbons' hauntingly beautiful hymn 'Drop, drop, slow tears' sets Phineas Fletcher's text to the first strain of the tune known as 'Song 46', it never fails to move me.

markfromireland

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4th Sunday of Lent 2014 Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521): Maria plena virtutate

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March 30, 2014

Of all Fayrfax's works his meditation on the Passion "Maria plena virtute" (Mary full of virtue) is the one that I find the most moving.

markfromireland

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Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): Behold, thou hast made my days

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March 3, 2014

Orlando Gibbons' setting of verses 5-7 and 12-13 from Psalm 39. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Edward Elgar (1857-1934): The Apostles, Op 49 – Prologue: The Spirit of the Lord

2
November 30, 2013

Elgar statue Great Malvern The Apostles was the first of Elgar's two Biblical oratorios to be completed and received its first performance at Birmingham Town Hall on October 14th 1903 it tells of Jesus calling the Apostles, his teaching them and his betrayal and the ascension. Four years later its Prologue was extracted by the music publishing firm Novello and printed as part of their famous series of choruses for use in churches. It's a composite text which Elgar compiled from a variety of Biblical sources and, as you might expect from a prologue, it introduces many of  the themes and motifs to be found in the oratorio. This thematic diversity is one of the reasons why it's not necessarily the easiest piece of music in the world to sing when sung well however it's a very worthwhile piece of music in its own right. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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