Miserere, (full title: Miserere mei, Deus, Latin for “Have mercy on me, O God”) by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, is a setting of Psalm 51 (50) composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Holy Wednesday and Good Friday of Holy Week. (source: Wikipedia).
This haunting performance is by the Choir of New College, Oxford.
Please help the New College Choir fund future recordings, performances and tours by buying the album directly from their website.
The famous setting of Blake’s Poem “And did those feet in ancient time”, published in his “Prophetic Books” in 1808, and set brilliantly to music by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916.
This version is also from a Last Night at the Proms, this time from 2009.
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land
This version was chosen because it is crisp and clear, although just orchestral.
The Boston Pops orchestra, with the great showman and musician Arthur Fiedler conducting. “Aida” was an Egyptian commission, first performed in 1871, composed by Giuseppi Verdi.
For those after a big choral sound, then this alternative might suit.
Praeter Rerum Seriem (This is no normal scheme of things) by Josquin des Prez (1450-1521).
Performed by Lumina Vocal Ensemble, Musical Director Anna Pope. Recorded Live at Lumina’s 2004 ‘Pilgrimage’ concert in Church of the Epiphany, Crafers by Rod Capon.
Singers: James Scott, Kenneth Pope, Bernard Mageean, Martin Penhale, Tim Muecke, Rosemary Byron-Scott, Penny Dally, Anna Pope, Rachel Sag and Carolyn Wilkins. Photographs of Kangaroo Island and Crafers by Claire Booth. Photos of Sevenhill by Kenneth and Eleanor Pope. Film by Anna Pope. Recording available on Lumina’s first CD, ‘Music for the Soul’ (2007). For more info, visit lumina.org.au
Canon and Gigue for 3 violins and basso continuo, PWC 37, T. 337, PC 358 the first part of which is more widely known as “Patchelbel’s Canon.”
Played by Ensemble ad Libitum – Three Affections Upon a Ground
Go Yamamoto, violin, director
James Andrews, Marie-Élise McNeeley, violin
Nigel North, theorbo
Maho Sone, harpsichord
The story of Kyung Wha Chung’s debut with the LSO a year before this recording makes inspiring reading:
Her next big opportunity came in 1970, when Itzhak Perlman could not come to London for his concert with the London Symphony Orchestra (his wife was giving birth to their child), and Chung was asked to step in at the last minute. The orchestra was initially hostile to Chung, whom they considered an “amateur”. The orchestra started playing the Mendelssohn Violin concerto during the rehearsal, although Chung had been told that she would be playing Tchaikovsky for the concert. She nonetheless played the Mendelssohn concerto perfectly, winning the respect of the orchestra. The rehearsal went smoothly afterwards, and the concert was a success.
Wikipedia, Kyung Wha Chung, July 2013
Talent triumphs – although Previn had a wicked sense of humour.
Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in 1971.
I. Allegro molto appassionato 0:00
II. Andante 12:59
III. Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace 21:06
Kyung-Wha Chung plays Brahms violin concerto with Andre Previn and the Kölner Rundfunksinfonie Orchester, in Köln, in December 1996.
I. Allegro non troppo 1:00
II. Adagio 24:18
III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace 33:28
Brahms wasn’t enthusiastic about the Adagio. Andrew Lloyd Webber credited the third movement as the inspiration behind “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.”
This has been called a “serious” work — the third movement (33:28) is the most accessible.
The theme was suggested in a manuscript fragment, but this piece was composed by the 20th-century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto .
This version was chosen because it moves along, and seems very immediate.
Played here by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, and recorded at the Basilica of the Pannonhalma Archabbey, Hungary.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Ballet.
Music by Felix Mendelson, Choreographed by George Balanchine. Performed in La Scala, Milan, conductor Bruno Casoni.
The first 12 minutes or so are the playful and uplifting overture, but those who have time to watch the full ballet will find it rewarding.
With love and blessings on this Midsummer’s day.
Violin: Isaac Stern, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy in 1966.
A superb piece, composed in by Max Bruch in 1866. If nothing else, listen to the finale starting at 17 mins.