Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Haste On, My Joys!

Haste On, My Joys! is the sixth in the series of seven songs setting poems by Robert Bridges. It’s a five-part setting (SSATB) written shortly after Finzi stopped teaching harmony at the Royal Academy of Music in London. With its very energetic part-writing and rhythmic writing Finzi’s music reflects the youthful exuberance of the first…

Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611): Ascendens Christus in altum – Gradualia

This impressive live performance of Victoria’s five-part (SSATB) Ascension motet Ascendens Christus in altum (Christ ascending on high) shows what a small talented choir can do with Victoria’s wonderfully sunny and happy music. Modern performances of Victoria’s music tend to involve large forces but as Gradualia’s excellent performance which you can hear below clearly demonstrates…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ascendit Deus

Peter Philips’ five-part setting of the Offertory motet Ascendit Deus (God has ascended) was written In Festo Ascensionis Domini it takes its text from Psalm Psalm 46 (47): 5 and 102 (103):19. As you might expect from Philips it’s a superbly written piece of  music which opens with a marvellous rising figure before moving on…

Peter Philips (1560-1628): Ave Regina cælorum

Peter Philips’ setting of the Marian antiphon Ave Regina cælorum (Hail, Queen of heaven) was published in his Cantiones Sacræ of 1612. It’s a five-part (SSATB) setting very much in the new Roman style. The five-voice structure meant that he could vary the texture at will to reflect words or phrases in his text coupled…