Posts Tagged ‘ Harry Christophers ’

Richard Davy (±1465-1538): Salve Regina

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August 5, 2014

Davy was one of the first of the new generation of English composers who flourished under the Tudors. His setting of the Salve is free-composed throughout making no reference to the chant. It's very distinctly English and quite unlike anything that his contemporaries in Italy, France or theLow Countries would have composed.  There's a sweetness there, a depth of feeling, that's quite unique, it's not easy music to sing and the fact that Davy could compose music of this scale and quality is the clearest possible indication that English choirboys were expected to achieve a high level of professional virtuosity to sing music that tested their powers of concentration and their command of vocal technique as never before. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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John Blow (1649 – 1708): I will hearken

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July 7, 2014

The collapse of the Puritan regime and the restoration of the Stuart monarchy under Charles II in 1660 meant an immediate change in the style of government. Charles' government immediate priority was restoring those institutions of state that the Puritans had destroyed and that included the Chapel Royal which had been a vital centre of English musical life.  Cooke – Charles' first choirmaster had a difficult task because the tradition of training choirboys had been destroyed but he did have benefit of being able to ride a wave of pent-up creative energy. Blow was a chorister at at Newark Parish Church when Cooke conscripted him into Chapel Royal's choir thirteen years later Blow was appointed as as Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal a post he held for nearly thirty five years combining it with a very successful career as a composer.

His setting of verses 8-12 of psalm 85 is one two dozen symphony anthems that he composed for the Chapel Royal.  It's a contemplative and quite intimate piece that uses short ritornellos that develop naturally from the vocal material rather than a main symphony. Blow chose to have the instruments accompany the voices instead of alternating with them and it is this innovation which accounts for the piece's pleasing richness and the seamlessness of its texture. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Edmund Turges (?1450-????): From stormy windes

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July 4, 2014

Arthur Tudor 180x250 captioned I can tell you very little about Edmund Turges we don't know where or when he was born – although London around 1450 is a reasonably good guess. We know that he was admitted to the London parish clerks' company of the Fraternity of St Nicholas between 1468 and 1470 and we know that his songs were played at the court of Henry VII. It's almost certain that Turges himself moved in the court's musical circles and was commissioned to write songs for particular occasions such as his part-song From stormy wyndis which was addressed to Arthur, Prince of Wales (b 1486; d 1502), either to mark his betrothal (1497) or marriage (1501) to Catherine of Aragon, or to pray for his safety before setting out on a journey. Of those three possibilities I think that it was most likely the song was composed for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon because the date 1501 has been added as a note to the lowest voice-part by a later hand furthermore it was used Browne for his setting of Stabat iuxta Christi crucem the next year which suggests to me that Browne was capitalising on the familiarity and popularity of the song. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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John Taverner (±1490-1545): Dum transisset Sabbatum

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May 16, 2014

Taverner's Dum transisset Sabbatum has been much on my mind lately. It's sung below by The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (±1590 – 1664): Deus in adiutorium

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April 2, 2014

Deus in adiutorium is an introductory versicles intended to be sung during various Offices. It's a cry to God for help from the faithful and De Padilla's setting, a simple plainsong intonation, is very typical of the use to which plainsong was put in Spain and its colonies at the time.

markfromireland

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