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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: March 3, 2011 Archive

The Peaceful Cubicle

Posted at 2:39 AM on March 3, 2011 by Ward Jacobson (1 Comments)

A little over a week ago I was at my cubicle, amidst about 30 other cubicles in a large office room. There was chatter - some of it louder than I felt it should have been. You know how offices can get on certain days. My concentration was suffering, so I donned the headphones and carefully selected a CD that would help regain my focus and calm.

Gabriel Faure's Requiem.

Wow. I hadn't heard it for so long. It was like getting together for lunch with an old friend. My first experience with the Faure Requiem was back in the 80s, as part of the Abendmusik Chorus in Lincoln, Nebraska. John Rutter came from England to lead the performance and I became a fan for life.

The CD I chose to block the office chatter was a disc featuring Rutter's Cambridge Singers and the City of London Sinfonia - a recording made just a year before the performance in which I participated. For me it was just another reminder of the many redeeming qualities of music. Listening to this recording took me right back to 1986, to First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, to the sound, feel and smell of the sanctuary, and to that queasy-kind-of-anxious feeling....you know, not wanting to mess up in front of a choral genius like Rutter. Then there's the music itself - typical Faure - lush, serene, contemplative, and stunningly beautiful. The Requiem is a little over 30 minutes long. I listened to it three times that day - back to back to back. And I got a lot of work done too.

So the next time you feel yourself headed to a place you'd rather not be, stop. Take a deep breath and grab the headphones. Find that music that transports you to a better place. But if you need directions, the Faure Requiem is a pretty decent route to take.

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Learning to Listen, Session 1: Ancient Greece through Renaissance

Posted at 3:34 PM on March 3, 2011 by Emily Reese (1 Comments)

We managed to cover some 2,000 years of music history in 90 minutes Tuesday night (March 1) at our inaugural Learning to Listen session at Classical MPR.

And it was a blast! We actually did it. In the process, we got to listen to quite a bit of amazing music. I told attendees I'd get a list up of the music we heard, and here it is.

For the time being, the list is without context...particularly for those who either couldn't make it to the session, or perhaps couldn't get in since the class filled so quickly.

I wanted to get the list up as quickly as possible. In the next 1-2 weeks, we'll have a page up at www.ClassicalMPR.org with notes from the first class, some helpful links, and a FULL SCHEDULE for the upcoming Learning to Listen sessions!

Learning to Listen
Session 1: Ancient Greece through the Renaissance

Byzantine Chants
Bulgarian Orthodox Ensemble; Vivian Klochkov, director: Jade Records 91001
Tr. 10: Psalm 135, Verse 1 from the 13th Century, Messina
Tr. 11: Psalm 135, Verses 8 & 7 from the 14th Century, Mount Latros

Thomas Tallis: English Anthems
The Tallis Scholars; Peter Philips, director: Gimell 7
Tr. 8: Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter: Why fum'th in fight

Eternal Chant: An Overview of Gregorian Chant, Volume 1
Les Ambroisiniens at the Fontenay Abbey: Atlantic 82703

Gregorian Chant
Choralschola of the Niederaltaich Scholars; Konrad Ruhland, conductor: Sony 53899

Music of the Gothic Era
Early Music Consort of London; David Munrow, director: Archiv 415292
Tr. 2: Perotin: Organum Viderunt omnes (All have seen)

Dreams in the Pleasure Garden: Machaut Chansons
Orlando Consort: Archiv 457618
Tr. 13: Ma fin est ma commencement (My end is my beginning)

Forgotten Provence: Music-making in the South of France, 1150-1550
The Martin Best Consort: Nimbus 5445
Tr. 7: A l'entrada del tens clar: 12th c. dance-song in carole form

Trouveres: Courtly Love Songs from Northern France, c. 1175-1300
Sequentia Ensemble for Medieval Music: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77155
CD 1, Tr. 1: Bethun: Tan tai ame c' or me conveint hair (Chanson)

Ottaviano del Petrucci: Harmonice Musices Odhecaton
Fretwork Consort of Viols: Harmonia Mundi 907294
Tr.17: Josquin des Prez: Adieu mes amours

Une Fete Chez Rabelais: Songs and instrumental works from the first half of the 16th Century
Ensemble Clement Janequin; Dominique Visse, director: Harmonia Mundi 901453
Tr. 1: Loyset Compere: Nous sommes de l'order de Saint Babouyn (We are of the Order of Saint Babouyn)

Best Loved Hymns
Choir of King's College, Cambridge; Stephen Cleobury, conductor: EMI 57026
Tr. 5: Martin Luther: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

The Tallis Scholars: 25th Anniversary
Gimell 454990
CD 2, Tr. 2: In manus tuas (In your hands)
CD 2, Tr. 3: O Nata Lux (O light from light begotten)

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass)
Choir of Westminster Cathedral; David Hill, conductor: Hyperion 66266
Tr. 2: Missa Papae Marcelli: Gloria

Music for Holy Week
Choir of King's College, Cambridge; Philip Ledger, director: EMI 65103

Claudio Monteverdi: Madrigali erotici
The Consort of Musicke; Anthony Rooley, director: L'Oiseau-Lyre 421480

There are many, many more recordings that are helpful to understand that first millennium. Once we have our official Learning to Listen page, those recordings will be included as well. Enjoy!

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