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Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in psallamus, "let us sing"'s LiveJournal:

Monday, April 23rd, 2007
3:49 pm
Missa Brevis, Palestrina
Title: Missa Brevis in F
Composer: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
Performer(s): Tallis Scholars
Background: Palestrina wrote a notable number of masses, but this, perhaps lacking a more specific purpose is simply called 'brief'.  It's about 21 minutes long.. rather short, I suppose.  My first reference to it was in Master and Commander, where one of the characters mentions he went to a cathedral for the express purpose of hearing this mass (and later, to dance).  Frankly, it was certainly worth the walk!
Nature of recording: Choral, 4 parts. 
Text: Latin Mass. Missa Bevis, Wiki article with links to the text of the various sections of the Mass.
Miscellaneous: There is something rather curious about the Agnes Dei.  It's usually listed as Agnus Dei I and II, and I must admit that it seems to start and begin again about mid-way through. 
Format: mp3

Posted for esteven, with affection. 

1. Kyrie
2. Gloria
3. Credo
4. Santus and Benedictus
5. Agnus Dei
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
12:35 am
Mass for the Children - Sanctus & Benedictus
*shakes dust*

This has been in my head for the past few days, not because I didn't hear it before hand, but at least in part because I heard the most terrifying Sanctus on Sunday, and this is... not.

Title: John Rutter, Mass for the Children - Sanctus & Benedictus
Performer(s): Clare College Choir, Cambridge, Farnham Youth Choir
Background: John Rutter's Mass for the children is not an older setting; on the contrary it's from 2002. Being a Naxos CD it was a random [read: cheap] pick when Tower Records was closing down, and is probably the most listened CD of the 20 or so we bought.  This is my favorite section, because of the beauty of the harmony in the Benedictus, particularly in the duet. Notes from the composer
Nature of recording: Adult and Children choirs, with chamber orchestra.
Text: Ye old Missa brevis - slightly different word order.  
   Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, -    "Holy, holy, holy,"
    Dominus Deus Sabaoth; - "Lord God of Hosts;"
    pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua. - "Heaven and earth are full of your glory."
   Hosanna in excelsis. - "Hosanna in the highest".

    Benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini.- "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."
    Hosanna in excelsis. - "Hosanna in the highest".
Format: mp3 :)
Sunday, January 29th, 2006
10:11 pm
American Angels
This song is something from my CD "American Angels," recorded by Anonymous 4. It is, alas, a .wma file, but I figured some people, if not newredshoes, would be able to enjoy it. The CD is a collection of early American spirituals, perhaps a bit later than the normal medieval-style stuff we normally find around here, but I thought this song is too lovely to go unshared.

The lyrics are as follows:

I am a poor, wayfaring stranger,
While journ'ying thru this world of woe,
Yet, there's no sickness, toil nor danger,
In that bright land to which I go.
I'm going there to see my Father,
I'm going there no more to roam;
I'm only going over Jordan,
I'm only going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather o'er me,
I know my way is rough and steep;
Yet beaut'ous fields lie just before me,
Where God's redeemed their vigils keep.
I'm going there to see my moter,
She said she'd meet me when I come;
I'm only going over Jordan,
I'm only going over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land;
I want to shout salvation's story
In concert with the bloodwashed band.
I'm going there to meet my savior,
To sing His praise forevermore;
I'm only going over Jordan,
I'm only going over home.

The song may be found here.

Oh yes, and I forgot: "Argos" is just heavenly. Thank you, rahalia_cat.
Thursday, December 15th, 2005
6:30 pm
Arvo Pärt - Arbos
parelle sent me in this direction because I made a download post yesterday, and I'm so glad that she did! The download is a full liturgical album (choral and organ) from 1987, by Arvo Pärt, called Arbos, and you can find it here.
Thursday, December 8th, 2005
3:25 pm
Here's something a little different.

Some of you may know Isabel Bayrakdarian as the soprano soloist from Howard Shore's soundtrack to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; she also did vocal work for Atom Egoyan's film Ararat. She's released an album of Armenian Orthodox liturgy, called Joyous Light. This is a selection from early on in the service (I'm guessing -- the album seems to be in liturgical order), called "Trisagion". It's an a capella solo, in a style quite unlike most of the Roman Catholic songs we've been putting up. Lyrics are in Armenian; file's in .m4a. This reminds me of chants I've heard in synagogues -- give it a try!
Sunday, December 4th, 2005
2:19 pm
Mellow and Merry for Finals
These songs are not particularly sacred--the second is particularly irreverent-- but they are Old, and beautiful. Alas, I cannot find my CD's liner notes, which have all the information--including lyrics and translations, so much of this will have to come from memory and google. Here is perhaps the most legit website for the CD, from the site of the group that did the recording. They are called King's Singers, and are a male chorus that does mainly madrigals (especially in this CD) but also simple ballads.

Song #1 is called "Mignonne, Allons Voir Si La Rose," a French (!) simple ballad, sung with sort of a funny attitude towards those final "silent" e's that so often get pronounced in French vocal music. Its lyrics and translation are here, about a quarter of the way down the page, along with a scholarly discussion of them If you don't feel like following the link, in a nutshell, it is a baritone (with a beautiful, beautiful voice) singing (beautifully) to a woman that her youthful beauty will not last long, the same way a rose is beautiful only from dawn to dusk, and that she should reap it while she can.

Song #2 is called "La, la, la, Je ne l'ose dire," also French, but a madrigal. The lyrics are here, about three quarters of the way down the page. Essentially, the group is singing that there is a man in town whose wife is having an affair with everyone she sees, and therefore he is not jealous without cause.
Monday, November 28th, 2005
2:25 am
Veni Veni Emmanuel
Title: Veni Veni Emmanuel
Composer(s): Text: 8th/9th century Latin Antiphons, Tune: 15th century French, arranged in 18th century
Nature of recording: Acapella
Performers: King's Singers
Location: St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London
Format: Download - MP3 | EClassical
More information: The Hymns and Carols of Christmas | Catholic Culture

I fully admit that I'm a sucker for things Latin. I was late to church this morning, and missed singing this.  This has always been one of my favorite carols and courtesy of The Boar's Head Tavern's Advent Blog via elwe I was reminded of it again, and its Latin name. A quick search did the rest. 

So, query: right language, perhaps out of time period?  Is that, ahhh, kosher?

Current Mood: bouncy
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
6:50 pm
"Alma redemptoris mater," Trio Mediaeval (Soir, dit-elle) - .m4a

More information here, including context, Latin and translation; it shows up in Chaucer's Prioress's Tale, apparently. I need this one right now.
Monday, November 21st, 2005
5:44 pm
Ave Maris Stella - Dufay

Title: Ave Maris Stella
Composer(s): Plainchant hymn, setting by Guillame Dufay
Nature of recording: Male Solo, and mixed choir
Format: MP3 - Download | BBC Singers - Real Media Stream

Ave Maris Stella is a plainchant hymn to the Star of the Ocean, the Virgin Mary dating back at least to the ninth century.  This, however, is a medieval setting, composed by Guillaume Dufay [there is a picture of the line Summens illud Ave his entry].  Odd numbered strophes are sung in plainchant by the soloist, while the choir sings the even strophes. 

My particular recording is found on the Listen! Fifth Edition CD set.  My professor for my music history class (who is also one of the authors of the textbook) insisted that we learn to sing the hymn, and the tune ever more stuck in my head.  Plainchant and showers are an interesting combination.  This version sounds practically unearthly; the BBC Singers have a much stronger sound. 

More information: BBC Singers
Lyrics: Ave Maris Stella

Current Mood: contemplative
Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
12:17 am
In Paradisum
I found this many moons ago by randomly putting in a search for "Gregorian chant" on Kazaa and scrolling past everything that was Pure Moods or Chant: The Phenomenon. It is the most-played track on my computer, and the more I listen to it, the more subtle and beautiful it becomes.

If anyone can identify this recording for me, I will be eternally grateful. It's an all-male chorus, and that's the limit of what I know.

In Paradisum

Current Mood: exhausted
Friday, November 11th, 2005
10:16 pm
Fiat polyphonia!
...or something. This is probably my favorite piece of music ever: "Sicut Cervus", the first (and better) half of a motet on Psalm 42, by the wonderful Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, once the choral director of St. Peter's Basilica and one of the masters of polyphony. "Sicut Cervus" is, I understand, one of his earlier works. It is a polyphonic motet in four parts. It's actually one of his "lesser" works, by which I mean it took me like two goddamn years to find a recording of it. So enjoy it, or I'll do horrible things to you with a rusty organ pipe.

Recording notes: I don't know who's doing the performing in this recording, but it's a men and boys choir, which is good as that's what it was written for. They go a little too fast and their consonants aren't too clear, but it's a damn sight better than the only other recording I've found, which features crazy dynamics, vibrato-crazy female altos, and other things that make the piece sound like Mendelssohn.</nerd>
8:09 pm
Second-to-inaugural post!
I love the idea of this community. Here is the first track from one of my favorite CDs, "The Triumph of Oriana," a collection of lovely, lovely a capella madrigals that have been re-arranged from older manuscripts and such. 
7:23 pm
Inaugural post, yay!

I'll start off with a piece from the matchless Trio Mediaeval, of whom you will be seeing a lot from me. For the uninitiated, they are three Norwegian women who make the most ungodly beautiful noises ever produced by a human throat. This little number is called "Salve mater misericordie", off their first recording, Words of the Angel, which I cannot recommend enough. This is an English composition, and I know the liner notes have much more information, but they're not with me at the moment. This is an iTunes .m4a file.

Also, we're currently in a bare bones only state, so if any of you are inspired to make up a community banner, icon or layout, I'd be eternally grateful.

Enjoy, guys! ♥

Current Mood: pleased
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