Posts Tagged ‘ Rheinberger ’

Knabenchor der Chorakademie singt Abendlied von Rheinberger – YouTube

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March 4, 2014

Knabenchor der Chorakademie Dortmund sing Rheinberger's Abendlied

"Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget, o bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden." Lukas 24:29

( 29 But they constrained him, saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them.
Source: NEW ADVENT BIBLE: Luke 24)

I've written about this Rheinberger's most well known piece before (see: J.G. Rheinberger: Abendlied — Dresdner Kreuzchor | Saturday Chorale), it's sung below by the choir of the Dortmund Choral Academy under their director Jost Salm. Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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Feature: Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901): Mass for double choir in E flat ‘Cantus Missae’ Op 109

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January 22, 2014

rheinberger 150x150Of all the compositions by Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901) I suppose it's his Mass for double choir in E flat 'Cantus Missae' Op 109 that's the most famous. He wrote it in 1878 and dedicated to Pope Leo XIII who rewarded him for it with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Saint Gregory. He wrote it specifically as a musical rebuttal to the doctrines of the Cecilian movement — a reformist movement whose aim was to reform nineteenth century Catholic liturgical music by eliminating most of the innovations of the preceding two centuries and returning to the guidelines and practices set forth by the Council of Trent.

Rheinberger had at first been attracted by this movement but came to regret his involvement with the Cecilians and wrote this Mass as his repudiation of them. It's Rheinberger's musical sigh of relief at having thrown off the shackles of Cecilian doctrine and expression of delight in his new-found musical freedom and flexibility. His writing in this Mass is very antiphonal and is in clear lineal descent from Venetian cori spezzati (spaced choirs) music of the late Renaissance. This doesn't mean that it's a re-write of something that might have been written for St. Mark's by Monteverdi or Gabrielli or one of the seemingly innumerable minor Venetian composers. For a start there's  a heavy sprinkling of Bach's and Mendelssohn's inspiration throughout the piece to say nothing of Rheinberger's own highly original and gloriously unpredictable inventiveness. You'd think from reading the forgoing that it's a complete Tivoli of a composition but in fact it's a triumph of beautifully clear and very moving choral writing. Rheinberger starts with a spacious and expansive Kyrie and then goes on to show what he can do.

There aren't many composers who would dare to make the Gloria and the Credo the heart of their settings but this is precisely what Rheinberger does.  He maintains interest throughout his almost completely syllabic setting these notoriously long texts by some ingenious word-painting – have a listen to what he does at  'et incarnatus est', 'descendit' and 'ascendit' in the Credo and you'll hear what I mean. He follows this double tour de force with a Sanctus of ethereal beauty and a Benedictus that leads us through a gentle and stately dance. The Mass concludes with an Agnus Dei whose contrasts and modulations end with an extended  'dona nobis pacem' that is symphonic both in inspiration and scope.  Enjoy :-).

markfromireland

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J.G. Rheinberger: Abendlied — Dresdner Kreuzchor

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November 14, 2011

Caravaggio Supper At Emmaus"Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget, o bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden." Lukas 24:29

( 29 But they constrained him, saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them.
Source: NEW ADVENT BIBLE: Luke 24)

Rheinberger's «Abendlied» ("Evensong") takes its text from The Gospel according to St. Luke 24:29. The context, (Luke 24:13-35 KJV, NEW ADVENT)is the encounter on the road to Emmaus between two of Jesus' disciples and the Risen Christ. Cleo'pas and his companion have yet to be convinced that Christ has risen and while in a state of despondency meet a "stranger" on the road to Emmaus. They fall into conversation with him and tell him of their disappointment in the man whom they had hoped and beleived was the Messiah. Jesus' response is to cite scripture showing that the Messiah would inevitably suffer the fate he had suffered. All of this takes time and as night will soon be upon them they invite their new friend to stay with them and eat rather than face the dangers of travelling alone and at night. He accepts their invitation and as he breaks bread with them two things take place:

  1. They suddenly realise who he is.
  2. He vanishes.

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Forthcoming Posts

  • Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’
  • 6th Sunday of Lent 2014: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross Op 51

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