Author Topic: Early English Vocal Music  (Read 4853 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2018, 01:16:06 PM »
The Hilliards recorded the Old Hall Manuscript, which includes three pieces by Power (about ten minutes worth).


Both this and the Power recording mentioned by Mandryka above are available in this excellent box set:

"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2018, 11:38:02 PM »
The Hilliards recorded the Old Hall Manuscript, which includes three pieces by Power (about ten minutes worth).

There's apparently one other recording of the OHM


I was listenening to some of that recording of OHM from Hilliard a couple of days ago because a motet by John Forest got my attention on Binchois Consort's "100 years war" recording,  Ascendit Christus. I recommend the Binchois Consort recording to you, by the way, I think they're really on good form at the moment.

Slowly I'm getting more of a feel for these English composers who so influenced Ockeghem and Dufay.

There's lots of bits of Leonal Power dotted around from Binchois Consort and Gothic Voices. Even Deller paid lip service and recorded a mass movement, as has Blue Heron and Orlando Consort,
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 11:49:54 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2018, 12:05:14 AM »


I just want to report that I've been really enjoying this recording based around Ludford's Missa Videte Miruculum from The Cardinall's Musick. It's maybe not Ludford's most striking mass, but I find that it is lovely to hear it in the context of the chant that Carwood interleaves with the polyphonic music. Somehow the contrast enhances both, and the transitions are evocative.  It's a mass which really benefits from its context somehow.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 12:30:42 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Biffo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 681
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2018, 03:34:52 AM »


This "Binchois Consort" recording of early C15 music is proving to be one of the most interesting of its kind that I know. At its heart is an anonymous mass (quem malignus spiritus)  which, I think, has not been recorded elsewhere. It's music of great nobility and interiority, I'm going to stick my neck out and say the mass is a real masterpiece.

Other polyphonic highlights include a couple of delightful isorhytmic motets by Nicholas Sturgeon and Thomas Damett - I know nothing else about these composers. But the mass is the star.

The Binchois Consort have also recorded 'Music for the Hundred Years' War' (Hyperion). It has works from 1380-1520 with John Dunstaple being the main contributor. It has a section for the coronation of Henry VI but I don't know if there is any overlap with the album above .

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2018, 06:30:57 AM »
The Binchois Consort have also recorded 'Music for the Hundred Years' War' (Hyperion). It has works from 1380-1520 with John Dunstaple being the main contributor. It has a section for the coronation of Henry VI but I don't know if there is any overlap with the album above .

No overlap.

 The 100 Years War CD contains amongst other things a sequence of three movements from the ordinarium by Dunstaple, not as far as I know intended to be performed cyclically.

The Kyrie is completely new to me unless I'm forgetting, maybe it hasn't been recorded elsewhere. Their approach is more fluid than Hilliard, less expressive in the voicing and harmonies  than Tonus Peregrinus. Their sound is quite extrovert, big, rich and in your face, as if the mass were being performed more for a state occasion than for intimate prayer.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 06:33:31 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

kishnevi

  • Guest
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2018, 08:44:23 AM »
I was listenening to some of that recording of OHM from Hilliard a couple of days ago because a motet by John Forest got my attention on Binchois Consort's "100 years war" recording,  Ascendit Christus. I recommend the Binchois Consort recording to you, by the way, I think they're really on good form at the moment.

Slowly I'm getting more of a feel for these English composers who so influenced Ockeghem and Dufay.

There's lots of bits of Leonal Power dotted around from Binchois Consort and Gothic Voices. Even Deller paid lip service and recorded a mass movement, as has Blue Heron and Orlando Consort,

I've got some Gothic Voices CDs....I'll have to root around and see what I do and don't have.  The others I don't have.

I got this last week


I found the harmony a bit too sweet for my taste.  Don't know if that is a characteristic of Dunstable or just a quality of that particular performance. Has anyone heard these two CDs?


Amazon's listing for that says Dunstable is included, but the track listing, such as it is, doesn't identify which is which ("Flos regalis" and "Speciosa", I am guessing, because of one of the reviews.)


Which is all Dunstable.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #46 on: January 21, 2018, 09:06:33 AM »


I got this last week


I found the harmony a bit too sweet for my taste.  Don't know if that is a characteristic of Dunstable or just a quality of that particular performance.

A quality of that particular recording is that it's got a soaring voice, I like it very much. How much sweetness is intrinsic to Dunstable is an interesting question, I'm not sure about the answer -- I think part of what the folks in Belgium found interesting about Dunstable was to do with a way of avoiding dissonances, but I'm not sure at all.

Has anyone heard these two CDs?


Amazon's listing for that says Dunstable is included, but the track listing, such as it is, doesn't identify which is which ("Flos regalis" and "Speciosa", I am guessing, because of one of the reviews.)


Which is all Dunstabe


Yes I've heard both and both are worth hearing. Both of them are impressive, but you should be able to sample them very thoroughly for yourself via spotify.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mahlerian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2966
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #47 on: January 21, 2018, 09:09:50 AM »
A quality of that particular recording is that it's got a soaring voice, I like it very much. How much sweetness is intrinsic to Dunstable is an interesting question, I'm not sure about the answer -- I think part of what the folks in Belgium found interesting about Dunstable was to do with a way of avoiding dissonances, but I'm not sure at all.

Wasn't he one of the first composers to treat thirds as a consonance rather than a dissonance?  The "sweetness" in question has to do with the use of what we today would consider triads, right?
"l do not consider my music as atonal, but rather as non-tonal. I feel the unity of all keys. Atonal music by modern composers admits of no key at all, no feeling of any definite center." - Arnold Schoenberg

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #48 on: January 21, 2018, 09:11:40 AM »
Wasn't he one of the first composers to treat thirds as a consonance rather than a dissonance?  The "sweetness" in question has to do with the use of what we today would consider triads, right?

I don't know, I've never been able to get clear on this.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2018, 12:53:46 PM »


Van Nevel plays Thomas's Ashewell's Missa "Ave Maria." Bloody hell, this is strange music, almost as much dissonance as Gesualdo! This is my first encounter with Ashewell, if anyone knows any other recordings of his music please let me know.

(I think this is a rather good CD by the way.)
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 16983
  • Location: Kuopio, Finland
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2018, 02:10:43 PM »
It's a very good disc indeed. This crops up on Amazon, I haven't heard it.

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2018, 10:21:37 PM »
Some I know has suggested that the sound of the Ashewell mass on Nevel's recording is so unusual that it must be due to a scribe's error in the source, or a misreading of the score, I don't have the booklet to the CD so I don't know if Nevel discusses it.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 15358
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2018, 11:00:15 PM »
.


Some I know has suggested that the sound of the Ashewell mass on Nevel's recording is so unusual that it must be due to a scribe's error in the source, or a misreading of the score, I don't have the booklet to the CD so I don't know if Nevel discusses it.

I was rather impressed by the Ashewell.  :)

What dou you find so unusual about it, and why would that be an error? 

I'll check the booklet....


Q
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 11:06:18 PM by Que »
À chacun son goût.

Offline San Antone

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6219
    • Highway 80 Stories
  • Location: Tennessee
  • Currently Listening to:
    Early music, Indian Classical, Roots music
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2018, 02:51:36 AM »
There's not much out there for Thomas Ashewell other than the Nevel recording.  Seems the spelling of his last name is found with or without the first "e".  There's this recording by Christ Church Cathedral Choir, coupled with another under-recorded English composer, Hugh Aston.



Thomas Ashwell : Missa Jesu Christe
Hugh Aston : Missa Videte manus meas

I also found this by Graindelavoix on YouTube:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/CH1QzyANB5g" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/CH1QzyANB5g</a>

I am interested in hearing more, though.

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2018, 12:42:29 PM »
.


I was rather impressed by the Ashewell.  :)

What dou you find so unusual about it, and why would that be an error? 

I'll check the booklet....


Q

I was very happy to discover Ashewell,  it's the sheer quantity of unusual unexpected harmonies which surprised me so much. I think that the idea was that the extraordinary harmonic language is unlikely to have been intentional in English music of this period.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:46:35 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2018, 12:44:41 PM »
There's not much out there for Thomas Ashewell other than the Nevel recording.  Seems the spelling of his last name is found with or without the first "e".  There's this recording by Christ Church Cathedral Choir, coupled with another under-recorded English composer, Hugh Aston.



Thomas Ashwell : Missa Jesu Christe
Hugh Aston : Missa Videte manus meas
.

This will be an essential thing to listen to  for me, since I've also enjoyed what little I've heard of Hugh Aston. I can see it's on Qobuz, badly tagged.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 12:47:58 PM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #56 on: May 14, 2018, 03:31:24 AM »


What is this emotion in the Agnus Dei? My overwhelming sensation on hearing this Ludford mass by James O'Donnell was of something very expressive and completely ineffable.

The emotional structure is extraordinary too. What I mean is that the whole thing is like a tense arc which finds its ecstatic summit in the Benedictus, where noble intensity gives way for a moment to noble ecstasy.

There's lots of other stuff on the recording apart from the mass, which I'm not ready to comment on yet. I just thought the mass was so very special that I'd write this now before I forget - not that it's possible to forget music and music making like this.

Kids' choir, very good kids' choir. Large choir, but this isn't virtuoso music making at all - it's a group prayer, not a group show-off session or a group thrill-the-audience trip. THe contrast between boys' and men's voices 
is very effective at times. Beautifully balanced. Anonymous impersional singing in the British way. Good sound quality.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:49:27 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline Mandryka

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10026
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2018, 03:18:52 AM »


Graindelavoix do English Music, interesting that Schmelzer chose Ashwell.

And having now heard it I cannot help but recommend it enthusiastically, even to people who may have been allergic to Schmelzer like premont and possibly que too.

The bottom line is that Ashwell is a great great composer, totally quirky and intuitive, disorienting in harmonies and rhythms and textures. Schmelzer has a fabulous bunch of singers at the moment who are, I’m sure of it through seeing them and hearing recordings like this, 110% committed to the Graindelavoix ideal.


 Schmelzer’s very understandable and non philosophical essay is, for once, illuminating, and his way of relating architecture and music and theological ideas is inspiring. Schmelzer understands well the relation between early music and ideas, this music isn’t “abstract”, it’s meaningful.

Who could fail to be excited when they read this sort of idea?

Quote
The fact that this mass is written for the Feast of the Annunciation creates other interesting musical implications. This Feast is probably the most impor- tant acoustical event of Christianity: the Angel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary and announces that she will conceive and give birth to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Theologians often came up with virtuosic explanations designed to make the mystery as acceptable as possible, inventing the idea of a con- ceptio per aurem, a conception through the ear. In this sense, it is not far-fetched to be able to understand how Ashwell turned the conception itself – secundum imaginationem – into a psycho-acoustic event. Is it not this mystery, which would allow for the extreme writing with so many weird leaps, syncopations, dis- sonance, etc.?

The inspiring writing goes beyond Ashwell by the way, it extends to Dufay’s extraordinary Marian motet Gaude Virgo

Quote
Maybe there is an interesting precedent here, in the motet Gaude Virgo by Guillaume Dufay, com- posed more than fifty years beforehand, probably in Italy. The first strophe of this hymn is: “Gaude Virgo, mater Christi, quae per aurem concepisti, Gabriele nuntio.” The composition as transmitted seems to be an impossibility for musicologists because the combi- nation of the four voices produces harsh clashes and inexplicable dissonants. It is believed that the lowest fourth voice cannot be by Dufay and was added later. Even if this voice proves not to be by Dufay himself, shouldn’t we understand this addition as a means to make the mystery of the Incarnation audible, making it material in its embodied sfumato-like rendition?

We discussed Paul van Nevel’s extraordinary recording of this mass before. He is going round right now with a concert programme of English music where he says this

Quote
En Albion de fluns environen - musique anglaise du XIVème siècle
En Albion de fluns environen – English music of the 14th century
Thanks to key manuscripts, such as the Chantilly Codex, continental music of the 14th century has already been rediscovered and become relatively well known. The same, however, cannot be said of the “crazy” 14th century in England, that is very much overdue the attention it deserves. With this programme the Huelgas Ensemble unlocks a completely unknown, yet highly impressive repertoire found in manuscripts from the libraries of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Worcester, York and London. It is clear, from the selection of isorhythmic motets, mass movements, conducti, gymel and secular songs, that here we are dealing with a highly idiosyncratic art form. The source of this music is often rooted in local traditions, which might go some way to explaining why this culture was, and indeed is, so little known in the rest of Europe.
This programme was recorded in april 2017 for Sony.
Line-up: mixed instruments and singers

I haven’t heard it though I would travel across Europe to do so.

Maybe what we’re starting to see  is that English excellence in polyphony extends beyond Dunstable and Frye, extends beyond their influence on Obrecht and Busnois.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 03:34:30 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline (: premont :)

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7018
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2018, 12:37:48 PM »
And having now heard it I cannot help but recommend it enthusiastically, even to people who may have been allergic to Schmelzer like premont and possibly que too.

Who could fail to be excited when they read this sort of idea?


Thanks, you present a convincing case, so I have downloaded it from Presto. I suppose I need the Nevel recording too.
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Offline Que

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 15358
  • "One HIP dude"
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Still nuts about harpsichord music and exploring Early Music.
Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #59 on: September 17, 2018, 08:35:36 PM »

Thanks, you present a convincing case, so I have downloaded it from Presto. I suppose I need the Nevel recording too.

I can strongly recommend the Van Nevel:




Pity if Schmelzer did the same Ashwell mass though.... I personally don't need another performance..... ::)

Q
À chacun son goût.