Sebastián de Vivanco • O Rex gloriae

polifonia1aSebastián de Vivanco’s (1551-1622) double-choir motet O Rex gloriae. This work comes from his 1610 book of motets, printed in Salamanca. Here it is performed by Capilla Flamenca, dir. Dirk Snellings, and Oltremontano with their sackbutts and cornetts – a great recording, as is the rest of the CD that features many works from this book.

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Diogo Dias Melgaz • Memento homo

Listening2Memento homo is, in my opinion, probably one of Diogo Dias Melgaz’s most impressive works. This “miniature” motet for four voices (SATB) survives in two 18th-century choir books housed at the Patriarchal archives in Lisbon and at Évora Cathedral. It is quite impressive how Melgaz emphasises the text’s message Memento homo, quia pulvis in pulverem reverteris (Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return) using dotted rhythms and short musical figures. (mais…)

Josquin/Narváez • Cum Sancto Spiritu

This is the second video (first video here) of the series I prepared on the intabulations for vihuela of sacred an vocal music from the Renaissance.

The composer featured in this video is Josquin des Prez (c.1450-1521), one of the finest and most widespread composers of the Renaissance. His music is particularly important to the Iberian vihuelists, who use Josquin’s music widely. (mais…)

Giovanni P. da Palestrina • Missa ” Hodie Christus natus est”

PalestrinaGiovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina’s Missa Hodie Christus natus est is an imitation mass based on the double-choir motet with the same name. Here Palestrina uses almost the same devices he used on the motet (cf. post on Hodie Christus natus est). This mass appears in a book of masses for eight voices printed posthumously in Venice in 1601. (mais…)

João Rodrigues Esteves – Missa for 8 Voices, Christmas Responsories

João Rodrigues Esteves - Mass, Responsories“The twelve Responsories for the Matins of Christmas Day are stylistically more even, though delightfully varied in texture. Each begins and ends chorally, with a ‘vers’ in the middle for an ensemble of soloists. They come from within the Christ Church choir, providing moments of breathtaking beauty, especially from the finely focused trebles” – BBC Music Magazine (mais…)

Marcos Portugal – Matinas do Natal

Portugal - Matinas do NatalMatinas do Natal, Rio de Janeiro, 1811

«In its first world recording, the stunning Matinas do Natal, written in 1811 by Marcos Portugal, is a luscious dish for any musical gourmet: the CD, which received the co-funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Radio DRS, manages to unite great music, dormant for centuries, with fabulous soloists, choir and orchestra. Gracing the cover, the detail of a painting by Jean-Baptiste Debret represents the coronation mass of Dom Pedro I, with the musicians standing in attention, Marcos Portugal in the forefront, au grand complet. (mais…)

Caeli Porta: 17th Century Sacred Music

Caeli Porta“Portuguese music enjoyed its most spectacular flowering in the early seventeenth century. Many of the greatest composers were gathered in the capital Lisbon, and this was a period when many Portuguese musicians also made their careers in Spain, which was then linked to Portugal politically. This recording presents masterpieces of Portuguese polyphony from Lisbon and Granada brought to light by the choir’s director, Owen Rees. (mais…)