Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Please note that music files that are linked to are not necessarily the same edition we will be using on the night and therefore there may be some slight differences.

Marenzio Hodie beata virgo Maria or YouTube link SATB
This short, lovely piece is for Candlemas (2 February), the feast commemorating the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple. The elderly Simeon, who had been promised sight of the Messiah in his lifetime, took the child into his arms and responded with the words of the Nunc dimittis. Marenzio (1553-1599) was an Italian singer and one of the most renowned of madrigalists with a European reputation. His works reached England through Nicholas Yorke’s Musica Transalpina, the collection of Italian works to ‘Englished’ texts that instigated the Elizabethan madrigalean period. He is renowned for both his sacred and secular music.

Pearsall Lay a garland SSAATTBB
We made a good start on this last time, after which Neil has kindly made some practice files (below). I highly recommend clicking on the link for your voice part and singing through in advance of the meeting – this should help boost confidence (if needed) and speed up learning the music. It’s a gem of a piece, with fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities, and will well reward any prior effort you can make!
YouTube Voces8 recording
YouTube recording with the score

The following recordings for each individual voice have the one voice played louder than all the others, using a trumpet sound.
You should be able to open the score and then come back to this window and click on one of these and hear the sound at the same time as following the music.
   1st Soprano    2nd Soprano
   1st Alto    2nd Alto
   1st Tenor    2nd Tenor
   1st Bass    2nd Bass

Wilbye Sweet honey sucking bees and Yet sweet, take heed (NB not the version in Oxford Book of English Madrigals) or YouTube link (YouTube link has both pieces) SSATB
John Wilbye was one of the finest madrigalists of his time. The son of a successful farmer and landowner, his musical abilities early attracted the notice of the local gentry. Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave Hall, Bury St. Edmunds, invited Wilbye to become resident musician there about 1595. The Kytsons treated him handsomely, leasing him a prosperous sheep farm in 1613; in time he came to own lands in Diss, Bury, and elsewhere. The household dissolved upon the death of Sir Thomas’s widow in 1628, after which Wilbye found employment with one of Kytson’s daughters in Colchester. His fame rests on his madrigalean output, and his achievement in the grave music of his ‘serious’ madrigals, a style then largely unpractised England.
Wilbye was a master of rhythm, and his alert ear for prosody fills his music with passages in which the verbal accent is counterpointed against the musical metre. Sweet honey-sucking Bees and its second part, Yet sweet take heed display his skill in vocal orchestration: the full number of voices is not constant, with the composer writing for much of the time for ever-changing smaller groups within the ensemble.

Nicolson Sing, shepherds all or YouTube link SSATB
Nicolson became organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in 1596 before taking his degree a year later and becoming the first Heather Professor of Music in 1626.
Sing shepherds all is the composer’s contribution to Morley’s celebratory Triumphs of Oriana. It is jolly madrigal, with chivalrous emphasis on ‘the gods above’ willing to join in the praise of Oriana. There is the usual word-painting, particularly on ‘roundelays’ (a type of circle dance), rising phrases on ‘gods above’ answered by a lower-pitched ‘men below’.
It is quite lengthy and we could extend it into next week if needed, although note that the refrain, ‘Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana’, is sung twice and is identical in all parts except that the first and second sopranos swap parts. Please do consider looking at this one in advance. Unfortunately the YouTube recording is a tone higher than our version, but it will give you an idea of the structure of the piece and how it breaks down into manageable sections.

John Bennet Let goe or YouTube link SATB
From ‘Madrigalls to foure voices” 1599
Bennet probably came from the north west of England. He was born into a prosperous family and was educated at what is now Abingdon School. Bennet is better-known for much-loved madrigals such as ‘All creatures now’ and ‘Weep, o mine eyes’, with his main compositional inspiration coming from Morley. He probably had strong connections with English high society: his madrigal ‘Eliza, her name gives honour’ was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. Let goe is dance-like, with the text speaking of a rather dysfunctional love. It is nearly all one-syllable-per-note and rhythmic accuracy plays an important part in setting the mood of the piece.

Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Please note that music files that are linked to are not necessarily the same edition we will be using on the night and therefore there may be some slight differences.

Marenzio Hodie beata virgo Maria or YouTube link SATB
This short, lovely piece is for Candlemas (2 February), the feast commemorating the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple. The elderly Simeon, who had been promised sight of the Messiah in his lifetime, took the child into his arms and responded with the words of the Nunc dimittis. Marenzio (1553-1599) was an Italian singer and one of the most renowned of madrigalists with a European reputation. His works reached England through Nicholas Yorke’s Musica Transalpina, the collection of Italian works to ‘Englished’ texts that instigated the Elizabethan madrigalean period. He is renowned for both his sacred and secular music.

Pearsall Lay a garland SSAATTBB
We made a good start on this last time, after which Neil has kindly made some practice files (below). I highly recommend clicking on the link for your voice part and singing through in advance of the meeting – this should help boost confidence (if needed) and speed up learning the music. It’s a gem of a piece, with fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities, and will well reward any prior effort you can make!
YouTube Voces8 recording
YouTube recording with the score

The following recordings for each individual voice have the one voice played louder than all the others, using a trumpet sound.
You should be able to open the score and then come back to this window and click on one of these and hear the sound at the same time as following the music.
   1st Soprano    2nd Soprano
   1st Alto    2nd Alto
   1st Tenor    2nd Tenor
   1st Bass    2nd Bass

Wilbye Sweet honey sucking bees and Yet sweet, take heed (NB not the version in Oxford Book of English Madrigals) or YouTube link (YouTube link has both pieces) SSATB
John Wilbye was one of the finest madrigalists of his time. The son of a successful farmer and landowner, his musical abilities early attracted the notice of the local gentry. Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave Hall, Bury St. Edmunds, invited Wilbye to become resident musician there about 1595. The Kytsons treated him handsomely, leasing him a prosperous sheep farm in 1613; in time he came to own lands in Diss, Bury, and elsewhere. The household dissolved upon the death of Sir Thomas’s widow in 1628, after which Wilbye found employment with one of Kytson’s daughters in Colchester. His fame rests on his madrigalean output, and his achievement in the grave music of his ‘serious’ madrigals, a style then largely unpractised England.
Wilbye was a master of rhythm, and his alert ear for prosody fills his music with passages in which the verbal accent is counterpointed against the musical metre. Sweet honey-sucking Bees and its second part, Yet sweet take heed display his skill in vocal orchestration: the full number of voices is not constant, with the composer writing for much of the time for ever-changing smaller groups within the ensemble.

Nicolson Sing, shepherds all or YouTube link SSATB
Nicolson became organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in 1596 before taking his degree a year later and becoming the first Heather Professor of Music in 1626.
Sing shepherds all is the composer’s contribution to Morley’s celebratory Triumphs of Oriana. It is jolly madrigal, with chivalrous emphasis on ‘the gods above’ willing to join in the praise of Oriana. There is the usual word-painting, particularly on ‘roundelays’ (a type of circle dance), rising phrases on ‘gods above’ answered by a lower-pitched ‘men below’.
It is quite lengthy and we could extend it into next week if needed, although note that the refrain, ‘Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana’, is sung twice and is identical in all parts except that the first and second sopranos swap parts. Please do consider looking at this one in advance. Unfortunately the YouTube recording is a tone higher than our version, but it will give you an idea of the structure of the piece and how it breaks down into manageable sections.

John Bennet Let goe or YouTube link SATB
From ‘Madrigalls to foure voices” 1599
Bennet probably came from the north west of England. He was born into a prosperous family and was educated at what is now Abingdon School. Bennet is better-known for much-loved madrigals such as ‘All creatures now’ and ‘Weep, o mine eyes’, with his main compositional inspiration coming from Morley. He probably had strong connections with English high society: his madrigal ‘Eliza, her name gives honour’ was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. Let goe is dance-like, with the text speaking of a rather dysfunctional love. It is nearly all one-syllable-per-note and rhythmic accuracy plays an important part in setting the mood of the piece.

Go back to index of previous meetings.

Saturday 2nd February 2019

Please note that music files that are linked to are not necessarily the same edition we will be using on the night and therefore there may be some slight differences.

Marenzio Hodie beata virgo Maria or YouTube link SATB
This short, lovely piece is for Candlemas (2 February), the feast commemorating the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple. The elderly Simeon, who had been promised sight of the Messiah in his lifetime, took the child into his arms and responded with the words of the Nunc dimittis. Marenzio (1553-1599) was an Italian singer and one of the most renowned of madrigalists with a European reputation. His works reached England through Nicholas Yorke’s Musica Transalpina, the collection of Italian works to ‘Englished’ texts that instigated the Elizabethan madrigalean period. He is renowned for both his sacred and secular music.

Pearsall Lay a garland SSAATTBB
We made a good start on this last time, after which Neil has kindly made some practice files (below). I highly recommend clicking on the link for your voice part and singing through in advance of the meeting – this should help boost confidence (if needed) and speed up learning the music. It’s a gem of a piece, with fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities, and will well reward any prior effort you can make!
YouTube Voces8 recording
YouTube recording with the score

The following recordings for each individual voice have the one voice played louder than all the others, using a trumpet sound.
You should be able to open the score and then come back to this window and click on one of these and hear the sound at the same time as following the music.
   1st Soprano    2nd Soprano
   1st Alto    2nd Alto
   1st Tenor    2nd Tenor
   1st Bass    2nd Bass

Wilbye Sweet honey sucking bees and Yet sweet, take heed (NB not the version in Oxford Book of English Madrigals) or YouTube link (YouTube link has both pieces) SSATB
John Wilbye was one of the finest madrigalists of his time. The son of a successful farmer and landowner, his musical abilities early attracted the notice of the local gentry. Sir Thomas Kytson of Hengrave Hall, Bury St. Edmunds, invited Wilbye to become resident musician there about 1595. The Kytsons treated him handsomely, leasing him a prosperous sheep farm in 1613; in time he came to own lands in Diss, Bury, and elsewhere. The household dissolved upon the death of Sir Thomas’s widow in 1628, after which Wilbye found employment with one of Kytson’s daughters in Colchester. His fame rests on his madrigalean output, and his achievement in the grave music of his ‘serious’ madrigals, a style then largely unpractised England.
Wilbye was a master of rhythm, and his alert ear for prosody fills his music with passages in which the verbal accent is counterpointed against the musical metre. Sweet honey-sucking Bees and its second part, Yet sweet take heed display his skill in vocal orchestration: the full number of voices is not constant, with the composer writing for much of the time for ever-changing smaller groups within the ensemble.

Nicolson Sing, shepherds all or YouTube link SSATB
Nicolson became organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in 1596 before taking his degree a year later and becoming the first Heather Professor of Music in 1626.
Sing shepherds all is the composer’s contribution to Morley’s celebratory Triumphs of Oriana. It is jolly madrigal, with chivalrous emphasis on ‘the gods above’ willing to join in the praise of Oriana. There is the usual word-painting, particularly on ‘roundelays’ (a type of circle dance), rising phrases on ‘gods above’ answered by a lower-pitched ‘men below’.
It is quite lengthy and we could extend it into next week if needed, although note that the refrain, ‘Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana’, is sung twice and is identical in all parts except that the first and second sopranos swap parts. Please do consider looking at this one in advance. Unfortunately the YouTube recording is a tone higher than our version, but it will give you an idea of the structure of the piece and how it breaks down into manageable sections.

John Bennet Let goe or YouTube link SATB
From ‘Madrigalls to foure voices” 1599
Bennet probably came from the north west of England. He was born into a prosperous family and was educated at what is now Abingdon School. Bennet is better-known for much-loved madrigals such as ‘All creatures now’ and ‘Weep, o mine eyes’, with his main compositional inspiration coming from Morley. He probably had strong connections with English high society: his madrigal ‘Eliza, her name gives honour’ was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. Let goe is dance-like, with the text speaking of a rather dysfunctional love. It is nearly all one-syllable-per-note and rhythmic accuracy plays an important part in setting the mood of the piece.