Posts Tagged ‘ Tudor Music ’

William Byrd (±1539-1623): Domine ante te omne desiderium

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August 29, 2014

This terse but wonderful six-part setting of two verses from Psalm 37 (Psalm 38 in protestant Bibles) is an early piece which exists only in manuscript. I love how the first verse is so … … … tenative and how it gathers pace, and conviction, as Byrd moves the motet forward to describing in music the Psalmist's feelings.
Enjoy :-)

mfi

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William Byrd (±1539-1623): Lullaby ‘My sweet little baby’

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August 12, 2014

When he published Psalms, Sonets, and songs of Sadnes and Pietie in 1588 Byrd wrote that he hoped it would 'perswade everyone to learne how to sing' all of the songs in the 1588 book are very distinctive in their concentration on a beautiful sound, on harnessing the expressive power of the human voice. They're all pieces that repay frequent listening or as Byrd put it "a song that is well and artificially made cannot be well perceived nor understood at the first hearing, but the oftener you shall heare it, the better cause of liking you will discover" I've long since lost count of how many times I've listened to this performance of the Winter Lullaby, an early work that shows Byrd's consummate mastery of that most difficult art, writing a good tune. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Edmund Turges (?1450-????): From stormy windes

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July 4, 2014

Arthur Tudor 180x250 captioned I can tell you very little about Edmund Turges we don't know where or when he was born – although London around 1450 is a reasonably good guess. We know that he was admitted to the London parish clerks' company of the Fraternity of St Nicholas between 1468 and 1470 and we know that his songs were played at the court of Henry VII. It's almost certain that Turges himself moved in the court's musical circles and was commissioned to write songs for particular occasions such as his part-song From stormy wyndis which was addressed to Arthur, Prince of Wales (b 1486; d 1502), either to mark his betrothal (1497) or marriage (1501) to Catherine of Aragon, or to pray for his safety before setting out on a journey. Of those three possibilities I think that it was most likely the song was composed for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon because the date 1501 has been added as a note to the lowest voice-part by a later hand furthermore it was used Browne for his setting of Stabat iuxta Christi crucem the next year which suggests to me that Browne was capitalising on the familiarity and popularity of the song. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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Thomas Tallis (±1505-1585): Alleluia. Ora pro nobis

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June 24, 2014

Tallis' Alleluia. Ora pro nobis for four voices is a fairly early composition. It's a liturgical text intended to be sung during the the celebration of a Lady Mass (Lady Masses were daily celebrations of the Mass that used texts relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary) on Tuesdays between Pentecost and Advent. Enjoy :-)

markfromireland

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John Sheppard (c1515–December 1558): Media Vita

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March 25, 2014

Sheppard's music is not as popular as that of his contemporaries – I think this is a shame as he's right up there alongside his better-known contemporaries Taverner, Tye, White, and even Tallis. If you want to hear Tudor era music of breathtaking beauty and originality then Sheppard's compositions surely fit the bill. Media Vita is his undoubted masterpiece its sheer breadth of phrasing and expressiveness coupled with stunning sonorities and a remarkably deft hand with dissonance always stops me in my tracks. It's been recorded a few times – I think the most recent recording is by Stile Antico, but the recording below was the first and the one I find that I come back to time and time again.

markfromireland

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