Our concert at Temple Church featuring the Amaryllis Consort was, in our opinion, a huge success. Thank you so much to the audience, the performers, and Temple Church for their support and participation. What follows are our programme notes from the evening.
This concert is the culmination of one aspect of our project: identifying and drawing out connections between works of the period—some direct, some less so—in an attempt to see what new light can be shed through musical performance. The study and experience of music and art largely occurs separately. This concert aims to place aural and visual remnants of Renaissance culture side-by-side, in order to explore the potential benefits and practical challenges of manifesting the two arts together in a contemporary setting.
The first pairing is a straightforward one of imagery and iconography. Whether in literature, music, or the visual arts, certain religious symbols received considerable attention. Such imagery would have been known to Palestrina not only from scripture, but from his professional surroundings as well.
The mosaic apse of the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome—where Palestrina worked between and —contains this same scriptural imagery, originally created by late-thirteenth century artist Jacopo Torriti. As Simona Cohen points out, the stag was a symbol of Christ used in emblematic art, secular as well as sacred, well into the sixteenth century.
The next piece, Io dico que fra voi , demonstrates how the boundaries between music and the literary and visual arts were strikingly fluid.here
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. MIDI (free download) & MIDI/ZIP
The text for Io dico was written by famed artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni and set to music by the Netherlandish composer Jacques Arcadelt c. In Victoria travelled to Italy and worked in various Roman ecclesiastical institutions, until he returned to Spain in The motet, O quam gloriosum , first published in , comes from his middle of his Roman period. In Rome at the same time was the Greek-born painter and sculptor, El Greco , who in moved to Toledo and, through his unique combination of Byzantine and western styles became a central figure of the Spanish Renaissance.
Like El Greco, Victoria eagerly incorporated Roman compositional style into his Spanish musical background, possibly something he learned studying composition with Palestrina. In O quam gloriosum , one hears the hallmarks of Roman style: the juxtaposition of homophonic sections, in which voices sing in the same rhythm, against sections of more elaborate imitation.
In this way, artists and composers could both alter as well as uphold national styles as they moved through different artistic contexts. Master of the Countess of Warwick fl. The next piece also addresses the question of cultural transfer: how did a setting of Psalm 6 Turbatus est by Franco Flemish composer Josquin des Prez make its way into an English Tudor painting?
The girl on the left side of the painting holds her hands over a keyboard, but not on a precise chord; she may have held her hands over a table as a prop, then had the keyboard painted in later as was sometimes the custom. The other boy, one from the right, holds another part book, but this one with non-sensical musical notation.
- Sicut Cervus, tract from Holy Saturday?
- Sicut cervus sitivit anima mea Palestrina SATB sheet music for Piano download free in PDF or MIDI!
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Numerous problems exist with this painting. Rather than depicting an actual performance, portraits of music-making such as this—like instruments themselves—operated as status symbols, impressing upon visitors to the household the learnedness and wealth of the family. Furthermore, although manuscript and print sources for this motet are extant, they are rare—especially in England given the rise of Protestantism in the s.
As musicologist Kerry McCarthy has suggested, the painting reproduces the musical notation from a printed source: Tomus primus psalmorum selectorum printed by Johannes Petreius in Nuremberg in Mimesis—the idea that art should imitate reality—experienced a resurgence in the Renaissance as a central tenant of humanism. Stemming from such classical thinkers as Plato and Aristotle, the controversial aesthetics of mimesis thoroughly permeated artistic production, including the paintings of figures such as Bruegel.
The texts of these two pieces connect to the Temple Church space through their reference to Jerusalem. The Knights Templar was the premiere fighting and economic force representing western Christianity in the Crusades. The patriarch of Jerusalem consecrated Temple Church, built and financed by the Knights Templar, in The Templars recreated this shape in their buildings across Europe. Performing these pieces in a medieval space potentially pinpoints how aspects of the visual and the aural are divergent rather than complementary, as the process of altering physical space is different and often slower than altering aural phenomenon.
In some locations, medieval ecclesiastical spaces retained their basic structures through the sixteenth century to a remarkable degree—even with the removal of choir screens and iconoclasm of the Reformation. By contrast, changes to the music filling the walls of such buildings even that of Catholic composers like Byrd often proceeded at a swifter pace.
These two pieces thus illustrate how composers one-hundred and fifty years apart praised Jerusalem through polyphonic composition, regardless of how the spaces around them changed. Overlapping patterns of patronage therefore meant that composers and artists throughout Europe moved itinerantly as craftsmen from one court or artistic centre to the next in search of employment.
The manner of their attire and painting them selves c. While the text acknowledges the normalcy of travelling, it questions fundamentally why one has to travel and seek worldly riches, when his beloved at home is greater than all the treasures of the world.
Sitivit anima mea (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina)
Although images, material objects, and stories from the New World were certainly en vogue in England around , a fear of the unknown accompanied feelings of wonder and excitement. Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, Ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus. As the deer longs for the water-brooks, So longs my soul for you, O God. O quam gloriosum est regnum, in quo cum Christo gaudent omnes Sancti! Amicti stolis albis,.
O how glorious is the kingdom in which all the saints rejoice with Christ, clad in robes of white they follow the Lamb wherever he goes. O Lord, do not reprove me in Thy wrath, nor in Thy anger chastise me.
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Purchasable with gift card. This beloved four-voice motet is very well known among choral singers, and our evocative arrangement for solo voice and lute casts the piece in an entirely different light by mirroring authentic 16th-century practice - Palestrina was known to have worked out his compositions by playing them on a lute.
Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. Sitivit anima mea ad Deum fortem vivum: quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei? Fuerunt mihi lacrymae meae panes die ac nocte, dum dicitur mihi quotidie: Ubi est Deus tuus? As the hart longs for the water springs, So longs my soul for thee, O God. Once an order has been dispatched, we will accept returns where they meet the following conditions:.
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