Déodat De Séverac (1872 – 1921): Tantum Ergo

De Séverac was a native of Languedoc and its music profoundly influenced him. He entered the Paris Conservatoire as a student in 1896 but transferred to the Schola Cantorum as he disliked the rigid academicism of the Conservatoire. He studied under d’Indy, Magnard and Guilmant and learnt the piano from Albéniz. I like his music…

Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Magnificat quinti toni

Felice Anerio (the elder of the two brothers) had a very successful musical career starting as  a choirboy at Santa Maria Maggiore and at St Peter’s where he studied under Palestrina. He went on to be maestro di capella  at the Spanish Santa Maria di Monserrato and the English College before being appointed composer to…

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (± 1590 -1664): Lamentation for Maundy Thursday, ‘Incipit lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae’

For this year’s Maundy Thursday I’ve chosen Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla’s setting of Lectio I (Incipit Lamentatio Ieremiae prophetae) of the Lamentations for Maundy Thursday ‘In Coena Domini’. It’s a six-part setting and as you might expect from de Padilla it’s very traditional in tone with it’s polyphony being firmly based on the Toledo Lamentation…

George Malcolm (1917-1997): Miserere mei Deus

Psalm 51 – the Miserere, is the Biblical text around which the Ash Wednesday liturgy revolves. George Malcolm’s setting (Malcolm was Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral between 1947 and 1959) is an alternatim setting of the Psalm. It’s a beautiful piece of work that deserves to be far better known in which Malcolm switches…

Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650): Sitivit anima mea

A native of Fronteira Cardoso was sent to Évora ‘to study Grammar and the art of Music‘ under Father Cosme Delgado and Father Manuel Mendes once he had reached the age of nine. He must have greatly pleased his teachers because his career is one of rapid progression from prestigious post to prestigious post including…

2nd Sunday of Lent 2014: Mozart Requiem K626 C R F Maunder Edition Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir, Academy of Ancient Music

This performance of Mozart’s Requiem K626 is quite different to what you’re used to and assuming that the version with which you’re familiar uses Sussmayr’s score you’re likely to be … surprised, by much of what you hear. Maunder’s edition is far leaner and more taut than Sussmayr’s when coupled with forces similar to those…

Felice Anerio (±1560-1614): Christe redemptor omnium

Felice Anerio’s alternatim beautiful four-voice setting of the sixth century Advent Vesper hymn Christe redemptor omnium (Christ, Redeemer of Us All) is very traditional in style. Its imitative polyphony is very close to the chant and other than at the word ‘caelum‘ avoids word-painting. It’s sung below by the choir of Westminster Cathedral conducted by…

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599): Conditor alme siderum

Conditor alme siderum is the first hymn of the ecclesiastical year and was the first of Guerrero’s set of liturgical Office Hymns included in his 1584 Vespers book. By setting it in what was called ‘tempus perfectum‘ Guerrero was able to take the traditional Spanish triple-time which moves along at a fair clip and slow…

Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868): O salutaris hostia

When most people think of Gioacchino Rossini they tend to associate his with his lighthearted operas such the The Italian Girl in Algiers or The Barber of Seville but he also composed sacred music, including his setting of the Stabat mater and his Mass setting the Petite messe solennelle. His exquisite setting of ‘O salutaris…