Posts Tagged ‘ Harry Christophers ’

Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Regina caeli laetare (a8)

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July 9, 2015

Photo: Apse Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore. Photo Credit: Carlos Quijano Jr

Photo: Apse Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore.
Photo Credit: Carlos Quijano Jr

Anerio's eight part setting of this Marian Antiphons is a perfect example why his contemporaries considered him to be a worthy successor to Palestrina as official Papal composer. It combines beautiful flowing polyphony combined with homophonic passages and shifts in timing. As you might expect from Palestrina's successor the textual clarity is impeccable throughout. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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BBC Documentary – the Genius of the Monteverdi’s Vespers (HD) – YouTube

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June 14, 2015

One of the superb series of documentaries featuring Simon Russell Beale, with The Sixteen, and Harry Christophers. Enjoy :-)
mfi

BBC Documentary talks about Monteverdi's Vespers and about his relationship with the Duke of Mantua, 4th April 2015.

… … …

Simon Russell Beale travels to Italy to explore the story of the notorious Duke of Mantua and his long-suffering court composer Claudio Monteverdi during the turbulent times of the late Italian Renaissance. Out of the volatile relationship between the duke and the composer came Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, a major turning point in western music. The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, explore some of the radical and beautiful choral music in this dramatic composition.

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Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Vadam et circuibo civitatem

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May 30, 2015

De Victoria published this lovely motet which takes its text from the Song of Songs in 1572. It's a six-part setting characterised by considerable variety in the rhythms and textures with which de Victoria decorates the linear homophony. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Robert Ramsey (fl c1612-1644): In monte Oliveti

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March 17, 2015

Ramsey's madrigal-anthem probably dates from around 1615 and was written for private devotions rather than the liturgy. It's a six-part setting that with its harmonic tensions, repetitions, and use of declamation and and dissonance can sound surprisingly modern to our ears. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Robert Ramsey (fl c1612-1644): When David heard

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February 9, 2015

HPOW CaptionedRamsey was probably born at some time during the 1590s but the first reliable record we have of him is at Cambridge from 1612. He seems to have spent his entire adult life at Cambridge taking a B.Mus in 1616 and being appointed or­gan­ist at or­gan­ist of Tri­n­ity Col­lege, Cambrid­ge from 1628 until his death in 1644. He also held the post of Mast­er of the Childr­en at the col­lege from 1637. All of this argues that he was a talented musician well respected by his peers. His madrigal motet When David heard,  is one of the many musical expressions of grief at the death of Henry Prin­ce of Wales, King James I's first son from composers throughout England and Scotland. The text is taken from the Bible and tells of Kind David's reaction to the news of the death of his son Absalon, everyone who heard this being sung or who read the the text would have understood that King James was represented by David and that Absalon was Henry his son.

When David heard that Absalon was slain,
he went up to his chamber over the gate,
and wept, and as he went thus he said:

O my son Absalon, Absalon,
would to God I had died for thee,
O Absalon my son, my son.

Unlike many of the other expressions of grief this one was meant for private performance. It's a beautifully crafted piece of music, deceptively simple, but very lovely. It's sung below by The Sixteen. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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