For details of previous meetings, click here.

Saturday 7th March 2020

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

Lassus Miserere mei Domine or YouTube SATB
The offertory for the Tuesday after the second Sunday of Lent. The powerful text is from Psalm 51: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness: according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences’.

Byrd This sweet and merry month of May or YouTube Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATTB
A second look at this lovely piece after our introduction to it last session. William Byrd was the greatest English composer of his era. He was reluctant to embrace the Italian style and consequently wrote few madrigals, although some of his sacred music, such as Sing Joyfully is certainly madrigalean. This sweet and merry month of May begins with a brief canonic duet for the two sopranos; note an upward flourish on ‘merry’ and gently arched quavers depicting birdsong. A brief section in triple meter sees homophonic groups of three, four, and five voices. ‘Holiday’ is strikingly homophonic and antiphonal, while ‘Eliza’ provides some distinct and dense imitation. The ‘beauteous Queen of second Troy’ - Queen Elizabeth and the British realm - is saluted in C major. The final line, ‘take well in worth a simple toy’, is a false modestly: the poet’s accomplished offering to a mighty monarch being presented as a mere trifle.
Note that the T2 line could be sung by high baritones.

Palestrina When flowery meadows or YouTube (in Italian) SATB
This is I suspect a new piece for most of us – we last sang it in 2011. Originally in Italian, as I vaghi fiori, it has become reasonably well-known in this English translation. I’d like occasionally to introduce some Italian madrigals into our repertory, and this seems a lovely one to start with. Despite being in translation there is some lovely word-painting – note the ‘sporting lambkins play’ and the fine harmonies where ‘music wakes the day’. The opening melody appears in ‘Non nobis domine’ (Grace after Meat), attributed (possibly erroneously) to Byrd.

Morley Arise, awake or YouTube link SATTB
From The Triumphs of Oriana, Morley’s 1601 tribute to Queen Elizabeth - or, some would say, Anne of Denmark, who became queen of England alongside James I. We looked at this piece for the first time two years ago and it deserves another outing! It is a re-working of the composer’s ‘Adieu ye kind and cruel’, which in turn was translated from an Italian canzonet. The ‘silly shepherds sleeping’ are awakened by the appearance of the Queen‘s entourage, so sing her praises. There is a deft and rapid contrast of slow and quick music and, as ever, some clever word-painting, with the interval leaps on ‘arise’ and quick quavers on ‘awake, awake’ being great examples in the first three bars alone.

Pearsall Lay a garland or YouTube (Voces8) and YouTube (This recording follows the score) SSAATTBB
Back by special request! We last sang this a year ago and it too would be useful to give another airing, especially as it is such a crunchingly gorgeous piece. We made a good start on it at the time, aided by Neil’s helpful practice files. I highly recommend clicking on the link below 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. Its fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities make it a memorable sing.
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

Greaves Come away sweet love or YouTube link Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATB
A lovely, graceful piece, one of the four madrigals published in Songs of sundrie kinds in 1604. The verses are homophonic, the fa-las polyphonic and there is some delightful word-painting, especially on ‘running in and out’!

For details of previous meetings, click here.

Saturday 7th March 2020

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

Lassus Miserere mei Domine or YouTube SATB
The offertory for the Tuesday after the second Sunday of Lent. The powerful text is from Psalm 51: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness: according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences’.

Byrd This sweet and merry month of May or YouTube Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATTB
A second look at this lovely piece after our introduction to it last session. William Byrd was the greatest English composer of his era. He was reluctant to embrace the Italian style and consequently wrote few madrigals, although some of his sacred music, such as Sing Joyfully is certainly madrigalean. This sweet and merry month of May begins with a brief canonic duet for the two sopranos; note an upward flourish on ‘merry’ and gently arched quavers depicting birdsong. A brief section in triple meter sees homophonic groups of three, four, and five voices. ‘Holiday’ is strikingly homophonic and antiphonal, while ‘Eliza’ provides some distinct and dense imitation. The ‘beauteous Queen of second Troy’ - Queen Elizabeth and the British realm - is saluted in C major. The final line, ‘take well in worth a simple toy’, is a false modestly: the poet’s accomplished offering to a mighty monarch being presented as a mere trifle.
Note that the T2 line could be sung by high baritones.

Palestrina When flowery meadows or YouTube (in Italian) SATB
This is I suspect a new piece for most of us – we last sang it in 2011. Originally in Italian, as I vaghi fiori, it has become reasonably well-known in this English translation. I’d like occasionally to introduce some Italian madrigals into our repertory, and this seems a lovely one to start with. Despite being in translation there is some lovely word-painting – note the ‘sporting lambkins play’ and the fine harmonies where ‘music wakes the day’. The opening melody appears in ‘Non nobis domine’ (Grace after Meat), attributed (possibly erroneously) to Byrd.

Morley Arise, awake or YouTube link SATTB
From The Triumphs of Oriana, Morley’s 1601 tribute to Queen Elizabeth - or, some would say, Anne of Denmark, who became queen of England alongside James I. We looked at this piece for the first time two years ago and it deserves another outing! It is a re-working of the composer’s ‘Adieu ye kind and cruel’, which in turn was translated from an Italian canzonet. The ‘silly shepherds sleeping’ are awakened by the appearance of the Queen‘s entourage, so sing her praises. There is a deft and rapid contrast of slow and quick music and, as ever, some clever word-painting, with the interval leaps on ‘arise’ and quick quavers on ‘awake, awake’ being great examples in the first three bars alone.

Pearsall Lay a garland or YouTube (Voces8) and YouTube (This recording follows the score) SSAATTBB
Back by special request! We last sang this a year ago and it too would be useful to give another airing, especially as it is such a crunchingly gorgeous piece. We made a good start on it at the time, aided by Neil’s helpful practice files. I highly recommend clicking on the link below 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. Its fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities make it a memorable sing.
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

Greaves Come away sweet love or YouTube link Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATB
A lovely, graceful piece, one of the four madrigals published in Songs of sundrie kinds in 1604. The verses are homophonic, the fa-las polyphonic and there is some delightful word-painting, especially on ‘running in and out’!

For details of previous meetings, click here.

Saturday 7th March 2020

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

Lassus Miserere mei Domine or YouTube SATB
The offertory for the Tuesday after the second Sunday of Lent. The powerful text is from Psalm 51: ‘Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness: according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences’.

Byrd This sweet and merry month of May or YouTube Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATTB
A second look at this lovely piece after our introduction to it last session. William Byrd was the greatest English composer of his era. He was reluctant to embrace the Italian style and consequently wrote few madrigals, although some of his sacred music, such as Sing Joyfully is certainly madrigalean. This sweet and merry month of May begins with a brief canonic duet for the two sopranos; note an upward flourish on ‘merry’ and gently arched quavers depicting birdsong. A brief section in triple meter sees homophonic groups of three, four, and five voices. ‘Holiday’ is strikingly homophonic and antiphonal, while ‘Eliza’ provides some distinct and dense imitation. The ‘beauteous Queen of second Troy’ - Queen Elizabeth and the British realm - is saluted in C major. The final line, ‘take well in worth a simple toy’, is a false modestly: the poet’s accomplished offering to a mighty monarch being presented as a mere trifle.
Note that the T2 line could be sung by high baritones.

Palestrina When flowery meadows or YouTube (in Italian) SATB
This is I suspect a new piece for most of us – we last sang it in 2011. Originally in Italian, as I vaghi fiori, it has become reasonably well-known in this English translation. I’d like occasionally to introduce some Italian madrigals into our repertory, and this seems a lovely one to start with. Despite being in translation there is some lovely word-painting – note the ‘sporting lambkins play’ and the fine harmonies where ‘music wakes the day’. The opening melody appears in ‘Non nobis domine’ (Grace after Meat), attributed (possibly erroneously) to Byrd.

Morley Arise, awake or YouTube link SATTB
From The Triumphs of Oriana, Morley’s 1601 tribute to Queen Elizabeth - or, some would say, Anne of Denmark, who became queen of England alongside James I. We looked at this piece for the first time two years ago and it deserves another outing! It is a re-working of the composer’s ‘Adieu ye kind and cruel’, which in turn was translated from an Italian canzonet. The ‘silly shepherds sleeping’ are awakened by the appearance of the Queen‘s entourage, so sing her praises. There is a deft and rapid contrast of slow and quick music and, as ever, some clever word-painting, with the interval leaps on ‘arise’ and quick quavers on ‘awake, awake’ being great examples in the first three bars alone.

Pearsall Lay a garland or YouTube (Voces8) and YouTube (This recording follows the score) SSAATTBB
Back by special request! We last sang this a year ago and it too would be useful to give another airing, especially as it is such a crunchingly gorgeous piece. We made a good start on it at the time, aided by Neil’s helpful practice files. I highly recommend clicking on the link below 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. Its fine harmonic and melodic craftsmanship, exquisite suspensions and rich and expressive sonorities make it a memorable sing.
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

Greaves Come away sweet love or YouTube link Also in the Oxford Book of English Madrigals SSATB
A lovely, graceful piece, one of the four madrigals published in Songs of sundrie kinds in 1604. The verses are homophonic, the fa-las polyphonic and there is some delightful word-painting, especially on ‘running in and out’!