falsettists

Falsettists, Castratos and Sopranos…

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Falsettists, Castratos and Sopranos…The falsetto technique played a vital part in early polyphonic music, having appeared long before it was described in formal treatises or employed in Renaissance musical performances. As far back as the 13th century, Jerome of Moravia, in his Discantus position vulgaris, mentioned three types of vocal register: ‘vox pectoris’ (chest register), […]

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G.P. Da Palestrina: Missa Brevis

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The Missa Brevis first appeared in Palestrina’s Third Book of Masses (1570) and in all probability was written about the year 1558. The thematic origin of this mass is not entirely understood. There are indications that it could be based on a theme from Audi Filia, a mass by Claude Joudimal (1510-1572). There are other […]

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Clemens

Clemens: Ego flos campi!

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Jacobus Clemens Non Papa’s Marian motet ‘Ego flos campi’ (I am the flower of the field) can confidently be dated to autumn 1550. Clemens was employed for a few months during the autumn of 1550 for three months by the Marian confraternity Onze Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap in ’s-Hertogenbosch. This guild was the leading religious confraternity in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and its members […]

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Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613)….

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This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the death of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613), better known as Gesualdo da Venosa, that excellent composer of madrigals and sacred music. He characterizes in a very particular and eccentric way the musical life of the time; his style, original and oriented towards experimentation, shows him […]

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Do early music interpretations improve?

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Generally speaking, the idea of “progress” in art is an untenable one. Styles change, new ideas come along, different art is created, but the old art retains its value. Anyone interested in early music, or classical music in general, already believes this to some degree, and may even believe that later art is decadent. Here […]

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Miserere

Mozart’s illegal copy of Allegri’s Miserere

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“But lo, Thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.” ~ Gregorio Allegri Writing down ‘Miserere’ by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, was punishable by excommunication, but 14 year old Mozart committed it to memory… Miserere, by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), is a setting of Psalm 51 composed during […]

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Bad Festivals and worse people……

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Sometime happens to find bad people in the choral world! For bad people I mean true swindlers… In the specific case I refer to Mr. Anatoly Akinshin, the patron of the Festival ‘Expectations of Europe’ (http://en.festcenter.ru/index.php) which takes part in Sochi, Russia. I was invited to be part of the Jury at their Festival in January 2012. […]

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Ubi Caritas

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If you are looking for an effective piece for your choir maybe you could sing my ‘Ubi Caritas‘ for SATB (divisi). It has been published by FERRIMONTANA and you can buy it from here: http://goo.gl/4aqxd

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IFCM Composition Competition

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The IFCM International Composition Competition is ended with the victory of Frank Corcoran, a composer from Ireland. His pieces ‘Eight Haikus’ has received the first prize consisting in 5,000 Euros and the premiere by the ‘Philippine Madrigal Singers’. I am very proud to have been the Artistic Director of the Competition! The Jury consisted of […]

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Ekaterinburg, Urals…

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Recently I have been to Ekaterinburg, Russia, just over the Urals mountains. What a great place… so different from Moscow and St. Petersburg, the only cities of Russia that I have visited before. I took part as a member of the Jury at the ‘Second Eurasia Choral Festival’. You have done a great job, guys. […]

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