Posts Tagged ‘ Harry Christophers ’

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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1st Sunday of Lent 2014: Duarte Lôbo (±1564–1646) — ¨Pater Peccavi & Missa Pro Defunctis a8

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March 9, 2014

Duarte Lôbo the most famous Portuguese composer of his time was born sometime between 1564 and 1569 probably in Alcáçovas. He became a choirboy at Évora Cathedral and studied music under the celebrated Manuel Mendes at the Cathedral cloister school the Évora Claustra da Sé, his career was stellar –  maestro de capilla at Lisbon's Hospital Real, and from about 1591 until at least 1639 he held the post of maestro de capilla at Lisbon Cathedral. He directed the Seminário de S Bartolomeu, in Lisbon, and for many years he taught music at the Lisbon Claustra da Sé where his pupils included António Fernandes, João Alvares Frouvo, Fernando de Almeida and Manuel Machado. His polyphony combines learned counterpoint with expressiveness and attention to the meaning of the text – you can can hear the influence of composers such as Ockeghem and Josquin in his use of cantus firmus and canonical techniques some of his Masses are parody Masses based on motets by Palestrina and Francisco Guerrero.

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