Posts Tagged ‘ Monastery Choirs ’

Escolania de Montserrat: El cant dels ocells

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December 22, 2014

Lluís Travesset is the soloist of this performance of  the much-loved Catalan Christmas song and lullaby El cant dels ocells (Song of the birds) at a concert given at Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome, in 2012. It's a charming piece that like the the beautiful old Castilian carol "Brincan y bailan" ("They jump and dance") about which I wrote here back in 2011 (see: Escolanía del Escorial – Brincan y bailan – (Traditional Castilian Carol) | Saturday Chorale) tells of nature's joy at learning of the birth of Jesus Christ in a stable in Bethlehem.  Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Escolania de Montserrat: El Rossinyol (Washington Concert)

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December 2, 2014

El Rossinyol is a lovely old Catalan folk-song in which a bride laments her marriage to a shepherd and asks the Nightingale to send her love to her mother but not her father who married her off. It's sung below by the boys of the always superb Escolania de Montserrat. The soloist was Eduard Boadas and the concert was given at Strathmore Music Centre (Maryland - USA) on March 16th 2014 as part of the Escolania's 2014 USA tour. This video has very kindly been made available by Montserrat Gorina-Ysern. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Leo Delibes (1836–1891): Messe Brève (Missa Brevis) – Escolania del Escorial

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September 5, 2014

Most people when they think of Delibes think either his operas - Lakme with it's renowned flower duet and bell song being the most famous, and perhaps also his choruses, and well ... ... ... that's it. But in fact that's not it, or not entirely it, he also wrote some religious music including this setting of the Mass. It's beautiful and as a piece of music its quality speaks for itself. In fact I've never understood why recordings of it are so hard to get.

You can hear the influence of Delibes' love of music for the theatre in the dramatic and lively Kyrie and Gloria but it's his Sanctus which is downright angelic, the hushed and serene O Salutaris, and the reverential Agnus Dei which really make this Mass special. It's a lovely piece that lives up to its name - it really is short around fifteen minutes with lovely flowing lines and a gentle lyricism that's fairly easily attainable by most choirs. All of this makes it a fairly popular part of the choral repertoire - there are some very nice performances here on YouTube, but for some strange reason there are very few recordings of the Mass in its entirety available commercially. Enjoy :-).
mfi

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John Rutter – A Clare Benediction – Choir of Escolania del Escorial

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September 1, 2014

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John Rutter's beautiful "Clare Benediction" has been sung by so many choirs that it's difficult to choose between them but amongst the many performances I've heard this one by the boys of the Escolania del Escorial must surely rank as one of the best ever. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 – 1759): Lascia ch’io pianga – Escolania de Montserrat

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August 23, 2014

It's easy to understand why Handel re-used this piece of music again and again – it's quite simply beautiful. It began its life as a dance piece in Almira (1705) and was reworked by him two years later as the aria Lascia la spina in Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno before recycling it again in 1711 for his enormously successful opera Rinaldo. It's been popular ever since and is firmly ensconced in concert repertoire. It's sung below in a more than creditable performance by ten years old Eduard Boadas accompanied by Pau Tolosa who is thirteen both of whom are choristers at the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat and attend its famous music school the Escolania de Montserrat. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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