Author Topic: Early English Vocal Music  (Read 29681 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: I think and assumed, English composers of 15th century are a bit underground?
« Reply #100 on: November 22, 2019, 06:09:19 AM »
There was a recent recording of music by Frye and Dunstable released by Andrew Kirkman/Binchois Consort with music by Frye and Dunstable, it has become a great favourite of mine, it’s called Music for St Katherine. Good also, stimulating, is the recording with Ashwell from Bjorn Schmelzer/Graindelavoix - Paul Nevel/Huelgas Ensemble has also done interesting things with Ashwell, and I know he’s interested in the British Medieval avant garde.


There’s a thread on this stuff somewhere, called Early English Vocal Music, with lots of hidden treasures brought to light.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 06:25:54 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline DaveF

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Re: I think and assumed, English composers of 15th century are a bit underground?
« Reply #101 on: November 22, 2019, 02:31:13 PM »
I started noticing it a while ago, more so than before, people mostly know Thomas Tallis & of course John Dunstable perhaps William Fryes, but that it.

If early English polyphony would had never happen, we would not have the genie of Franco-Flemish music of 16th century and Italian great names of 17th century.

Walter Frye, possibly?

And much as I love early English music, I regret to have to disagree with your second point.  Dunstaple and his "frisque concordance" were much admired in France in his time, but the current of development European music is generally seen as going from Machaut through Du Fay and Binchois to Ockeghem and Josquin and so to Morales and Palestrina.  Anywhere, in fact, other than through these isles.  Composers such as Browne, Carver and Fayrfax (three of my musical gods, BTW) were entirely insular and had zero influence on this development.  The first British composer who had really caught up with his European contemporaries in terms of technique was Byrd.  I don't know what Mandryka thinks of this - he will have an educated opinion as he, like you, also knows everything about music from Gregorian to Renaissance.
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Offline JohnP

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Re: I think and assumed, English composers of 15th century are a bit underground?
« Reply #102 on: November 25, 2019, 02:36:12 AM »
Walter Frye, possibly?

And much as I love early English music, I regret to have to disagree with your second point.  Dunstaple and his "frisque concordance" were much admired in France in his time, but the current of development European music is generally seen as going from Machaut through Du Fay and Binchois to Ockeghem and Josquin and so to Morales and Palestrina.  Anywhere, in fact, other than through these isles.  Composers such as Browne, Carver and Fayrfax (three of my musical gods, BTW) were entirely insular and had zero influence on this development.  The first British composer who had really caught up with his European contemporaries in terms of technique was Byrd.  I don't know what Mandryka thinks of this - he will have an educated opinion as he, like you, also knows everything about music from Gregorian to Renaissance.

According to the  Wikipedia article on Dunstable:

He was one of the most famous composers active in the early 15th century, a near-contemporary of Leonel Power, and was widely influential, not only in England but on the continent, especially in the developing style of the Burgundian School.

Dunstaple's influence on the continent's musical vocabulary was enormous, particularly considering the relative paucity of his (attributable) works. He was recognized for possessing something never heard before in music of the Burgundian School: la contenance angloise ("the English countenance"), a term used by the poet Martin le Franc in his Le Champion des Dames. Le Franc added that the style influenced Dufay and Binchois — high praise indeed.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #103 on: December 18, 2019, 12:30:07 PM »
According to wiki, (Thomas?) Damett (early c15) left just three motets. In fact it turns out that they have all been recorded

Beata Dei Genetrix Mea -- Hilliard (Old Hall) and Ambrosian singers
Salve Porta Paradisi - Hilliard (Old Hall)
Sub Arturo Plebs -- Orlando Consort (Northern Star)

Anyway, why care? Well the answer is this. The Orlando Consort reveal that in Sub Arturo Plebs at least, he was an absolutely first class composer! Less than 5 minutes, but worth the price of the CD alone.

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #104 on: January 09, 2020, 04:36:12 AM »


I just want to say that this is a wonderful recording of an English medieval christmas mass from the Winchester Troper. The variety of the music and the voices, the expressive and vigorous singing, the sheer strange, alien timeless quality, to me at least, have all made it a great pleasure to explore. One thing that's really impressing me at the moment is the virtuosity of some of the singers, the way the syllables fade away at the end.

Although a woman's voice figures in an important way, much of this is in the Orlando consort vein, most notably in the energy of the music making. Maybe unlike Orlando Consort, they never lapse into jaunty stiff modal rhythms, everything is sensual and flexible.

Very highly recommended if this sort of singing is your cup of tea, I must have played it half a dozen times at least over the past month. Although the strangeness of the music was initially rebarbative, something must have told me that there was something special happening because with each successive listening I've accommodated myself more to the style, and I've become more aware of the nuances.

It is the recording from Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge which has most captured my imagination, possibly because the music is so good to listen to. Good hi-fi and a good transfer is needed IMO. The sound engineering, if you listen to a lossless source at least, is very fine.

If anyone has the booklet, could they scan it for me? 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 06:45:40 AM by Mandryka »
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Online deprofundis

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #105 on: January 18, 2020, 07:24:40 PM »
Hello I'm not dead yet lol

Listen Mandryka Have you heard Robert White -Lamentation de Jeremie- + 4 Motets a 5 voix.

It's a fantastic album  I got it in Japanese import LP. This my friend you got to heard this, unless no pick-up table.This is fabulous.

I have high estimate for Robert White especially on a good label such as Caliope. Mon ami acheté ce disques si vous pouvez le trouvez.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #106 on: January 18, 2020, 10:13:34 PM »
Yes, this is The Clerks of Oxenford, David Wulstan’s outfit. He was a major figure in making sense of the music, he argued that some renaissance English church choir music was designed to be sung higher than people had previously thought. I’m not sure how much traction  his research has these days.



If you search this thread you’ll see there’s a couple of his CDs I’ve really enjoyed, especially the early recordings he made, the first. 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 10:45:59 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #107 on: February 13, 2020, 03:39:49 AM »


There’s a wonderful performance of Dunstable’s votive antiphon on Crux Fidelis, almost more like a chanson than a motet, on this CD. It’s very attractive music, as far as I can see not recorded elsewhere.
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Online deprofundis

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #108 on: February 13, 2020, 08:14:01 AM »
Not exactly all 15 century, but sir Mandryka, please monsieur,
you most hear Manchester renaissance ensemble. It featured a Fayrfax Motet and a Cristo de Brito Motet, this small E.P is a blessing, the voice are surreal, this new ensemble is darn captivating and well worth checking out.There album is called Lux et Tenebrae. This ensemble has a bright future ahead of them whit such a solid release.

Have a nice day, take care sir

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Early English Vocal Music
« Reply #109 on: October 26, 2020, 05:54:51 AM »
.    .     

Ludford wrote seven lady masses, one for each day of the week, for the boys to sing in the London church where he worked. The masses are distinctive not least because they feature polyphonic music alternating with a composed melody.

My curiosity was first aroused by the recording of the Saturday Mass by La Quintina earlier this year. They use high voices. La Quintina is the brainchild of Jérémie Couleau, who had previously recorded the Sunday mass with Ensemble Scandicus - they use an adult choir with a lower tessitura. The same Sunday mass was recorded also by Trinity Boys Choir.


The Trinity Boys Choir recording is wonderful IMO, a major achievement. And the La Qunintina recording is an exciting new release. I personally have not found a way of appreciating the Ensemble Scandicus CD.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 06:03:21 AM by Mandryka »
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