Antoine Brumel (±1460 — ±1513): Sicut lilium inter spinas

His contemporaries ranked Brumel’s music highly comparing him favourably with both Josquin and Ockeghem. His four-part (SATB or ATTB) setting of Sicut lilium inter spinas (As the lily among thorns) Song of Solomon 2: 2 which at that time was the Antiphon for Matins of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is quite typical…

Benedetto Marcello (1686–1739): Dulcis Jesu Mater cara

Bendetto Marcello’s reputation has been eclipsed by that of Vivaldi and the other professional musicians of his era his music is now largely forgotten. Its obscurity is our loss for Marcello’s music was greatly admired and rightly so by Bach, Telemann, Locatelli, Avison and Goethe, and in later times Cherubini, Rossini and Verdi. The ‘Nobile…

Jacquet of Mantua (1483-1559): Ave Maria

Jacquet of Mantua was born Jacques Colebault in Vitré, Brittany, in 148 he’s referred to as Jacquet of Mantua to distinguish him from another composer Jacquet de Berchem. He was yet another northerner who went south to Italy where he worked for a variety of patrons amongst the Rangoni of Modena, the Estes, until in…

Josquin Des Prez (±1450 1521): Virgo salutiferi

In 1503 Duke Ercole I of Ferrara overruled his advisers and employed Josquin as maestro di cappella they’d advised him to hire Heinrich Isaac instead of Josquin because he was easier to get on with, was more companionable, far less inclined to make a fuss about composing on demand, and last but by no means…

Feature: Alessandro Grandi (±1586 – 1630): Salve Regina

This wonderful setting of the Salve is a particularly fine example of what a talented composer does when confronted with artistic restrictions. Grandi was one of those composers who flourished in Venice during Monteverdi’s time and in his shadow. He’d held posts as a maestro di capella in Ferrara, and had previously sung and studied…

Huw Morgan (born 1975): Alma Redemptoris Mater

The Merbecke Choir under their director Huw Morgan singing Morgan’s setting of the Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris Mater. I’ve put the text and a translation below the video. Enjoy :-). mfi Alma Redemptoris Mater Alma redemptoris mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes et stella maris: succurre cadenti surgere qui curat populo. Gracious mother of the…

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Regina caeli laetare a 8

De Victoria’s eight-part (SATB SATB) setting of the Marian antiphon Regina caeli laetare has a distinctly celebratory character it was intended to be sung at Vespers and Compline from  Easter  Sunday to  the  week  after  after Pentecost. I don’t know when it was composed but I think it must be from his Roman period when…

Leonardo Leo (1694 – 1744): Salve Regina in C minor

Leonardo Leo was more a composer of opera than of sacred music he had a distinguished career in Naples and was quite influential numbering Piccinni, Cafaro and Jommelli amongst his pupils. His sacred music makes good use of counterpoint can be quite operatic as you can hear in this live recording of his Salve Regina…

Johannes Ockeghem (±1410 –1497): Salve Regina

Ockeghem’s reputation during his lifetime was, as Timothy Dickey puts it, ‘stellar’ he was equally admired by his fellow musicians and his patrons amongst whom were numbered no less than three kings of France. His setting of the Salve which you can hear below with its dense and inventive polyphony woven around the chant melody…