Posts Tagged ‘ English choral music ’

Gabriel Jackson (1962–): To Morning, ‘O holy virgin! clad in purest white’

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May 5, 2014

Gabriel Jackson Gabriel Jackson's five-part setting of William Blake's poem 'To Morning' is one of my favourite examples of a modern composer achieving a perfect match between his text and his music. I love how he treats his topic here – the way in which the tiny speck on the horizon is enticed lovingly with musical caresses to draw nearer and nearer and how as the dawn draws closer and closer the choir trumpets the growing light that 'Rous'd' like a huntsman to the chase' appears 'upon our hills'. How better to start a week? You'll find it below, together with its text and performer information. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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John Amner (1579-1641): Sing O Heavens

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April 22, 2014

This glorious seven-part anthem, Sing, O heav 'ns  (SSAATBB) is a perfect example of the richness and sonority that typified early seventeenth-century English anthems. I wonder if its scoring meant that Amner felt he couldn't divide the tenor line. Or perhaps he wrote it with the stunning acoustic of Ely Cathedral's Lady Chapel in mind, that is probably more likely now that I think of it because the Lady Chapel also served as Amner's parish church The Church of the Holy Trinity. Either way it's a wonderfully celebratory piece. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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George Malcolm (1917-1997): Miserere mei Deus

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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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