Posts Tagged ‘ Peter Philips ’

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Panis sancte, panis vive

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July 10, 2015

We don't know exactly when Philips was born or anything about his parentage however we do know that he was brought up by Sebastian Westcote the organist and almoner of St Paul's Cathedral. Westcote was also a notorious recusant and upon his death Philips who didn't have powerful aristocratic patrons to protect him fled to the Continent in order to be able to worship without fear of persecution. His travels before settling down included three years in Rome where he lived alongside such musical geniuses as Palestrina, and de Victoria. He worked alongside Felice Anerio and his favourite composer seems to have have been Marenzio. You can hear the Italian, in particular Roman, influences very clearly in his setting of Panis sancte, panis vive (Holy bread, living bread) it's almost a madrigal and features some nice musical depictions such as the descending lines that illustrate 'qui descendisti de caelo' (who came down from heaven) and which he re-uses at the end of the motet.  Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Peter Philips (1560-1628): Regina Caeli laetare

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April 10, 2015

The Regina Caeli is one of four Marian antiphons traditionally said or sung after compline. It is said throughout Eastertide –  the fifty day period from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, and during that period can be said in place of the Angelus. Philips'  setting while it is for two choirs is more Roman than Venetian in its style it was a moderately conservative piece for its time eschewing the extremes of dissonance and chromaticism that were so popular amongst the Italian avant garde. Instead Philips made use of highly coloured and expressive harmonies and confined his use of contrapuntal imitation to the antiphon's opening bars. Philips as a loyal Catholic who had fled his native England in order to freely practice his faith was determined that his music would uphold and glorify the teachings of the Church particularly the one which held that any sung texts should be clearly discernible. I think he succeeded very well the text being sung is clear and is clearly illustrated, so despite the various compositional tricks that he employed such as contrasts between long and short notes and the passing of phrases from one side to the other, the congregation could easily follow and absorb the text and its musical illustration. It's a joyous piece sung at a joyful time the effect on his listeners isn't recorded but it have been almost like listening to a madrigal. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Surgens Jesus Dominus

2
May 6, 2013

Philips' Easter motet 'Surgens Jesus Dominus' (Christ our Lord rising)  which he published in 1612 inCantiones Sacrae has a wonderful sense of forward movement and of joy. I particularly like how he sets Jesus' words apart from the rest of the moter by using three simple block chords to emphasise them. It's sung below by the Tudor Consort conducted by Peter Walls. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Tristitia Vestra

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April 7, 2013

Phillips composed this gem-like motet in Commune Apostolorum, Tempore Paschali ( for The Common of Apostles in Paschal Time). He wanted to depict the Apostles' grief at Jesus' death turning to joy at Jesus' reappearance following his resurrection. To do it he used a slow-moving sonorous polyphony at the start of the motet to depict their despair but this changes to a joyful triple time at 'Convertetur in gaudium'  (turned to joy) which in turn gives way to a rousing hectic closing Alleluia. It's sung below by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge conducted by Richard Marlow. I've included the Latin text and an English translation below the player. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Peter Philips (±1560-1628): Jubilate Deo omnis terra

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April 2, 2013

Philips' motet 'Jubilate Deo omnis terra'  (Rejoice in the Lord in all lands) is a setting of  a slightly adapted Psalm 99 in the Vulgate (Psalm 100 in the KJV and later). It's polychoral –  SATB SATB, and the thirteenth piece in his collection Cantiones sacrae octonis vocibus published in 1613. I enjoy listening to this motet with its clear celebratory tone,  I also admire the skill with which Philips creates musical depictions, for example at 'servite Domino in laetitia' ('serve the Lord with gladness') he switches from duple to triple time to depict the emotion.  It's sung below by the Royal Holloway Choir accompanied by The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, the conductor was  Rupert Gough. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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