Author Topic: Music for Passiontide & Easter  (Read 31564 times)

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Offline Opus106

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2012, 10:53:49 PM »
Here is a great favourite of mine:



Here is my review from the vocal recital thread.

'This disc combines 17 century pieces with Sicilian folk songs. The progress of the disc revolves around Mary's meditations looking at her child; she sees the pain of the future. The second part of the programme takes in the fulfillment of Mary's visions in the Crucifixion and finally, the resurrection.

The singing is divided between Nuria Rial, Philippe Jaroussky and the male quartet Barbara Furtuna, who provide an earthy tang to set against the pellucid sounds made by the others. There is enormous pleasure here, the orchestra is made up of about 25 musicians playing such as baroque guitars, psalterion, dulcimer, viole de gambe etc. Rich, but never overwhelming.

There is some extemporisation. Possibly the most famous piece here is Merula's 'Hor ch'e tempo di dormire' a hypnotic piece where the accompaniment rests on two notes, back and forth rocking as Mary envisions the child in her arms in his final pain. It is a remarkable piece. In this version, the musicians have provided some quite violent harmonies at the ends of some verses. It works, Rial's light soprano is a beautiful instrument; but although I enjoy this version, I prefer the austerity of the original as voiced by the plangent tones of Sarah Mingardo.

But there is so much to beguile here. It is not a procession of miserable and dolorous music any more than you might extract from Bach's music when covering the painful parts of the journey.

This is an original and marvelous progression of pieces, Rossi, Cazzati, Biber and many others. The colours glow, the melodies are sinuous. A really beautiful disc of mainly little known music.'

Try this to get a flavour of the sounds........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11POTypBh2I&feature=channel

You are a very convincing writer, Mike. :)
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2012, 10:54:48 PM »
Very kind of you, thanks.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2012, 11:07:45 PM »
Someone asked whether there are pieces in English apart from the Messiah. Well, there is Stainer's Crucifixtion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-VD2BUialk&feature=relmfu

Please note: I point to it, I do not recommend it. The extract above gives a very good flavour of what it is like. Tripple the speed and it is just as turgid and vapid. Pietistic; if I have spelt the word correctly. The work is paralised with respect and I would not sit through it again unless I was paid to; well paid.

Mike
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

kishnevi

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2012, 07:32:59 AM »
The other seasonally appropriate Handel is of course Israel in Egypt.

And Bach wrote several Eastertide cantatas, besides the Passions and Easter Oratorio.

Leaping from Baroque Germans to modern British, I remember LSO Live released a recording of a St. John Passion by a contemporary British composer--MacMillan, IIRC.  Have not heard it, so I have no idea what it sounds like.

Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2012, 07:47:06 AM »
You have flummoxed me. How do the plagues in Egypt tie up with Easter?

Mike
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Online Papy Oli

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2012, 07:56:01 AM »
For Pergolesi's setting of the same texts I also suggest two versions. These are in great contrast to one another. One is a DG recording made in 1985 with the LSO, Margaret Marshall and Lucia Valentini Terrani. This is of course far from HIP; but the performances are really beautiful and moving. Marshall phrases wonderfully and for certain moments I don't know of another performer to equal her. It is not slushy and romantic, but certainly full in the sound of the accompaniment. In the extract you can hear what I so like about Marshall's singing. An underrated artist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2SxIMkFCq8

Here is the entire recording. Do try Marshall's entry at 13.12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-YpfSsDTXc


Thank you for this one, Mike. I only know this Stabat Mater through Alessandrini's version. This LSO take sounds as a great alternative indeed. Straight in the basket  :D
Olivier

Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2012, 08:15:00 AM »
I hope you enjoy it. I used to have it on LP; the sound was bathroomey. But the CD is much better and the sound is very natural.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2012, 08:40:56 AM »
The following pieces have been mentioned further back in the thread by way of showing the CD cover. However, for anyone who does not know the works, I will try some more detailed encouragement.

Couperin: Lecons de Tenebres

These are deeply contemplative pieces, not at all showey. They consist of three texts for Good Friday and are sung by two voices intertwining with one another. There is a single line accompaniment. That sinuous thread can be warmed up by being shared between several instruments, as in the Erato version, which has the soprano and mezzo acompanied by luth, viola de gambe and clavecin/organ. There is intensity here as well as rumination. In the version mentioned, the order of the lessons has been changed and some other music added including a magnificat.

Each silence in the music was designed to permit a candle to be extinguished until darkness is attained: reflecting the tenebre of the title in both the tone of the music and what it conveyed. Very moving.

I link to a very fine performance by William Christie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAI2Q4aninE&feature=related

Mike

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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Marc

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2012, 09:35:05 AM »
You are a very convincing writer, Mike. :)

And he's right, you knøw. It's a beautiful disc indeed!

Marc

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2012, 09:38:30 AM »
You have flummoxed me. How do the plagues in Egypt tie up with Easter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover

Offline Opus106

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2012, 09:42:48 AM »
And he's right, you knøw. It's a beautiful disc indeed!

It has already joined their Monteverdi disc in the wish-list. ;) (Do be wary of Mike's posts, though. One of them even made me listen to and appreciate vocal big-band Bach from the 50s or thereabouts! :o)
Regards,
Navneeth

Marc

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2012, 09:49:38 AM »
It has already joined their Monteverdi disc in the wish-list. ;) (Do be wary of Mike's posts, though. One of them even made me listen to and appreciate vocal big-band Bach from the 50s or thereabouts! :o)

Relax. :)

In this case, I can even trust my own opinion.

Heard and saw them live ....


Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2012, 10:06:41 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover

Yes, you are right. The connection to Passover is there OK in the 'Last Supper'.

Incidentally, years ago in Sorrento we bought a kitsch miniature reproduction of Michaelangelo's Pieta. It was supposedly made out of black tufa from the nearby Vesuvius. Ah-ha. The artist had decided to improve on the original be placing the statue in the cradling black hand of God.....which sported golden fingernails. The robes of Mary were covered in glitter.

There was a companion piece, Leonardo's Last Supper, brought into three black dimensions. I loved this one especially, as each had a plate of food in front of him. The food was covered in multi coloured glitter and it all looked like pizza. But regretfully there was only so much I was prepared to pay for kitsch.

Mike
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Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2012, 10:08:34 AM »
(Do be wary of Mike's posts, though. One of them even made me listen to and appreciate vocal big-band Bach from the 50s or thereabouts! :o)

Yes, I can be a bit subversive.   8)  Always taste before you buy. I would not want anyone to feel dumped with something they did not enjoy.

Mike
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I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Marc

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2012, 10:21:31 AM »
Yes, you are right. The connection to Passover is there OK in the 'Last Supper'.

Yes, Jesus was eating matzo with his disciples.

But I actually meant to say that Easter/Pascha/Pesach/Passover is originally a Jewish/Hebrew feast, 'christianized' by the Christian church.
Jesus became the Christian Passover Lamb, slaughtered for man's sake.

kishnevi

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2012, 11:57:10 AM »
Yes, Jesus was eating matzo with his disciples.

But I actually meant to say that Easter/Pascha/Pesach/Passover is originally a Jewish/Hebrew feast, 'christianized' by the Christian church.
Jesus became the Christian Passover Lamb, slaughtered for man's sake.

Actually, I was just thinking about the fact that tonight is the first night of Passover.   I'm taking a break from preparing for the Seder right now, while a load of dishes gets washed off in the dishwasher.  Then it's back to wiping down,  cutting up food, baking Passover rolls, and general kitcheny stuff.

But Easter is not a holy day with a fixed date precisely because the Church wanted to keep the link with Passover, and since the Jewish calendar is linked to the moon,  Passover's date changes every year compared to the solar calendar.  (Technically we use a solilunar calendar that involves inserting leap months seven times in a nineteen year cycle--or is it nine times in a seventeen year cycle? I don't have the time to actually check on that--to keep the holy days and festivals generally in accord with the actual seasons.  Astronomers call it the Metonic cycle.)  Therefore Easter's date changes.  Passover always falls on the 15th of the Jewish month--on or very close to the full moon, since the 1s of the month is, with some adjustments, officially on the astronomical new moon-- so if you think of Passover as starting on the full moon closest to the vernal equinox, you won't be far off.  It lasts for eight days (so this year it ends next Saturday at nightfall) and Easter generally but not always is the Sunday that falls during that eight day period.  Sometimes it comes just before or just after--I assume that's  because the Church doesn't follow along with every twist of the Jewish calendar's rules. 

And as Marc notes,  Christianity thinks of Jesus as being the ultimate Paschal Lamb:  which is why the Church made sure to keep Easter's date in sync with Passover.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2012, 12:05:27 PM »
A good Pesach to you, Jeffrey!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2012, 12:33:06 PM »
Someone asked whether there are pieces in English apart from the Messiah. Well, there is Stainer's Crucifixtion.

Please note: I point to it, I do not recommend it. The extract above gives a very good flavour of what it is like. Tripple the speed and it is just as turgid and vapid. Pietistic; if I have spelt the word correctly. The work is paralised with respect and I would not sit through it again unless I was paid to; well paid.

Unfortunately this is a popular favourite, as is Mauder's From Olivet to Calvary. In view of the numerous works that have been shown on this thread that is a pity but then the music has to be accessible to amateur church choirs.

My little treat from the piano for Easter Sunday will be March from Fanny Hensel's Das Jahr. Here we have a praeludium that seems to illustrate the crucifixion followed by  the choral 'Christ is risen' leading into what appears to be Fanny's interpretation of Christ's victory. I hope the piano will be capable of producing sufficient volume!
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

Offline knight66

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2012, 10:51:28 PM »
Another piece in English, especially relevant to Easter Sunday, is by Elgar 'The Apostles'. This is also a work I point out rather than recommend. Although there is a lot of Elgar's music that I love dearly, I have never got to grips with this piece.

Off to Italy now. Handel 'La Resurrezione' The Minkowski is excellent. It reminds me in structure of a Bach Passion. The recit bears the narrative of events and the arias are contemplations on events. I believe that what has held this piece back somewhat is that it does tend to sound incongruously jolly. To an extent it is a bit like the Rossini Stabat Mater, that has some wonderful music in it, but sounds like it was written for a different and less solemn occasion, then recycled with different words.

Mike
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 11:08:40 PM by knight66 »
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Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Music for Passiontide & Easter
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2012, 07:10:09 AM »
There is the mysterious Easter Sonata that was once recorded as a work of Mendelssohn's. Where is this recording now and why won't the owners of the manuscript allow it to be seen?
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.