Gemma nitens

The source of Gemma nitens (O shining jewel) is a manuscript in the archives of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, (MS 512), it’s a two part piece in honour of The Virgin composed for the feast of The Annunciation and in its time would have been one of many pieces of music dedicated to her…

William Byrd (±1539-1623): O gloriosa Domina

O Gloriosa Domina is the second half of the hymn Quem terra, pontus, aethera composed by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609), Bishop of Poitiers. Both were sung during the Little Office of The Virgin which, as I wrote on May 16th, 2016 in my posting on Quem terra, pontus, aethera remained wildly popular with Catholics during Byrd’s…

Beata viscera (plainchant)

The plainchant Communion motet of the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when…

Benedicta et venerabilis es (plainchant)

The Gradual for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary sung here by Cappella Pratensis directed by Stratton Bull using medieval Latin pronunciation with the singers grouped around one book as they would have been during medieval times. This is about as close to hearing the chant sung they it was sung when it was…

Nicolaus Craen (±1440-1507): Tota pulchra es

Although much of his life and music are now sunk in obscurity his contemporaries greatly admired this Southern Netherlands composer. He spent the last six years of his life as the sangmeester of the Confraternity of Our Lady in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and it’s known that the chapter of St Donatian, Bruges made at least one attempt…

Jean Lhéritier (±1480—±1552): Magnificat

The first public performance in modern times of Jean L’Heritier’s Magnificat. Recorded live at the St. John Nepomucene Chapel at Sarny Castle, Aug 29, 2015. Performed by Men’s Vocal Ensemble Gregorianum, conducted by Berenika Jozajtis. This is a rarity amongst Lhéritier ‘s surviving works most of which arecomparatively short motets. Rarity or not like all…

Beatam me dicent – Antiphona ad communionem

This communion antiphon is sung here as it would have been sung in Venice during a Marian Mass, that is a Mass offered within the framework of a liturgy set out for a Marian feast day. The chant in this case is taken from the Commune Festorum B. Mariae Virginis which set out the liturgically…