Music from the world of the Queen of Scots

We all know that early music, particularly English liturgical music, is my big passion, right? I geek out on the music created out of the Book of Common Prayer, and I can easily sit for hours comparing Tallis through the decades. But one area I don’t know that much about,…

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Stile Antico rescued my Music Drought

About 7 years ago I went through a Music Drought.  Have you ever been in one of those?  Months, or even years go by, and you realize that you haven’t listened to anything new, or even anything that you love and makes your spine tingle in ages?  Yeah, well, that…

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Melancholia and Euphemisms from the 17th century to now: John Dowland and Sting

Lasting art is startling in its provocativeness and sensuality, whether it’s just been released, or if it’s 500 years old.  Music is especially striking because it is living – each time it is performed it is renewed, recreated, regenerated.  No two performances are exactly the same, and it’s that living, breathing…

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Staying relevant in pop culture after 500 years: Tallis and Spem in Alium

A few months ago I went to pull up a recording of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium, his famous 40 part motet written for 8 5-part choirs.  I hadn’t listened to it in a while, and it was the kind of day that called for some later Tallis.  The recording that came…

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These things seem wondrous: Weelkes and the giddiness in late 16th century England

Last week when I was interviewing Suzi Digby for my podcast episode on her Los Angeles based project The Golden Bridge, which pairs choral music of the English Renaissance with that of contemporary composers, she mentioned a madrigal by Thomas Weelkes called The Andalusian Merchant.  Since I live in Andalusia,…

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Suzi Digby talks 500 years of choral music in 34 minutes.

In 2011 I met Suzi Digby via Twitter.  Having found out that she is a choral goddess and was in Los Angeles for a visiting professorship in choral conducting and arts leadership, I immediately asked if I could take her to coffee and meet her.  I visited her in Queen’s…

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Old Music Monday: The colorful life of Francesco Maria Veracini

  One of the great debates in classical music right now is whether video game music should be included in the genre of classical, even when a symphony is playing it.  I’ve long been a fan of the Oblivion soundtrack, and downloaded it before these kinds of scores were available…

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Old Music Monday: Biber’s Resurrection Sonata

There’s something about Baroque music that just screams Autumn to me.  I don’t know where it comes from – I suppose the main baroque music my family listened to growing up would have been a recording of the Messiah which would begin its heavy Christmas rotation soon after Halloween, so…

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Old Music Monday: Tudor Anthems from the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

One of the things I love about Spotify is that when you ‘follow’ an artist (ie click ‘follow’ on their artist page), you get a notification whenever a new album from that artist is added to the database of music.  I adore that.  I don’t have the time to keep…

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Old Music Monday: The Spy’s Choirbook from Alamire

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of going to Sidney Sussex College, in Cambridge, and interviewing Dr. David Skinner, the choral director there, and a brilliant musicologist.  In addition to being incredibly charming, he is also bursting with information which he relays in an approachable way.  I taped…

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