Posts Tagged ‘ Tudor Music ’

John Sheppard (±1515-1558): Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria

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August 19, 2015

We know very little about Sheppard's life (and much of what we 'knew' turns out to be wrong) but his contemporaries and later generations of musicians fully recognised his importance more than 40 years after his death Thomas Morley praised his music.  His Latin works mostly date from the reigns of Henry VII and Mary I with Gaude, gaude, gaude Maria most likely dating from sometime in Mary's reign. It's a setting of the Respond and Prose at Second Vespers at Candlemas and it takes the chant as its cantus firmus. It's very densely written with some gloriously elaborate counterpoint weaving its sinuous way around the cantus firmus. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Levemus corda

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August 7, 2015

Byrd's five-part (ATTBB) setting of Lamentations 3: 41-2 from the 1591 Cantiones. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Derelinquat impius

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June 19, 2015

Derelinquat impius (May the unrighteous) takes its text from Isaiah and was the fifth Respond at Matins on the First Sunday in Lent. Andrew Carwood describes it as "surprising and unsettling because of the peregrinations of the opening bars" with some "eyebrow-raising melodic moments".  But surely that was the entire point? Tallis rarely, very rarely, engaged in word-painting but surely if ever there was a text that justified him engaging in it then Isaiah 55–7 is that text. The melody is wayward it wanders, and each voice enters at a surprising note all of this depicting the sinner's inability to find his way and his need to revertatur ad Dominum (turn again to the Lord). Tallis varies the texture and introduces some "special effects" such as the leap upward at misericors to represent the heart's leap of joy at the prospect of God's mercy. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Constitues eos principes

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June 2, 2015

Constitues eos principes (You will make them princes) is one of three pieces of music that Byrd composed specifically for the feast of saints Peter and Paul, he published it in the 1607 Gradualia. It's a six-part setting, confident and modern and full of energy in which the anguish we associate with the Cantiones is conspicuous by its absence. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Mudd: Let thy merciful ears

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May 25, 2015

We don't know which of the Mudds composed this setting of the collect for the tenth sunday after Trinity. It could have been Henry Mudd, either of his two sons, or his grandson Thomas. (Just to make dating and attribution even more difficult it's been wrongly ascribed to Weelkes). It's a short but lovely piece in a very modern style and with a lovely melody. I've put the text below the video. Enjoy :-).

mfi

Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

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