Mater ora filium — 14th century polyphony

This source of this charming piece of 14th century polyphony is a Gradual of Sarum chant now in the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library1 Both the composer and the text’s author are unknown and it seems likely as it was the only polyphonic item in the gradual that it was intended for liturgical use. It’s…

Jacquet de Mantua (1483 -1559): Aspice Domine

I wrote about this five-part (SATTB) motet by Jacquet de Mantua featuring the performance by Delititiæ Musicæ under Marco Longhini back  in May. 1  I recently stumbled across this performance by the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford under Bill Ives, really it’s superb, don’t miss it. mfi

Tantum Ergo

When I think of the Monastery at Montserrat I tend to think of the famous choir school but the monastery’s library is rarely far behind in my thoughts. The background of Montserrat Bibioteca comprises about 300,000 monographs, some 6700 periodicals, 1,500 manuscripts, 400 incunabula, 400 old maps and important collections of prints and joys. Of…

My cup runneth over

There’s been a glut of excellent music performed live from YouTube channels that I follow in the last fortnight.  One of those channels is The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford’s channel who uploaded this performance of Wood’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D given at Washington National Cathedral on July 1st 2014,  and Tallis’ If…

Mudd: Let thy merciful ears

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…

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (±1525-1594): Stella quam viderant Magi – Choir of Trinity College Cambridge

The Epiphany text Stella quam viderant Magi  was frequently set by Sixteenth century composers at least twenty of whom including Josquin Desprez and Palestrina set it. Palestrina’s setting is sung here by the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge directed by Stephen Darlington during Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, 14th January 2015. I’ve put…