Leos Janecek (1854 – 1928)

 

Leos Janecek (1854 – 1928) was a Czechoslovakian composer and music theorist who was inspired by his native Slavic and Moravian folk music. He was also influenced by the music of Antonin Dvorak who, himself, was influenced by folk music not only of his homeland, but of other places that he lived, including America. Janecek used local folk melodies to develop his own original musical style.
Although best known for his orchestral and piano compositions, he also wrote choral music. He is best known in liturgical music for his Glagolitic Mass, or, Slavonic Mass for soloists, double choir, organ and orchestra, completed in 1926. It is based upon an Old Church Slavonic text, which differs from the Roman Catholic mass by omitting the “Dona nobis pacem.”

Janáček was a strong supporter of pan-Slavism, and this mass has been viewed as a celebration of Slavic culture.

Glagolitic Mass [1/8]

Glagolitic Mass [2/8]

Glagolitic Mass [3/8]

Glagolitic Mass [4/8]

Glagolitic Mass [5/8]

Glagolitic Mass [6/8]

Glagolitic Mass [7/8]

Glagolitic Mass [8/8]

For a beautiful example of a contemporary of Janacek, see Beati quorum via integra est [How blessed are faithful souls which undefiled are] (Psalm 119:1) – Charles Villiers Stanford at http://bibleasmusic.com/beati-quorum-via-integra-est-how-blessed-are-faithful-souls-which-undefiled-are-psalm-119-1-charles-villiers-stanford/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBibleAsMusic+%28The+Bible+as+Music%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

 

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Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (1858 – 1924)

Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (1858 – 1924) is the greatest opera composer in the Italian style to follow Verdi, developing his own Realistic style. He is perhaps best known for Madame Butterfly, La Bohème and Tosca. As with his predecessor, Verdi, Puccini’s sacred music benefits greatly from his opera experience. However, his sacred works don’t begin to challenge the special place in liturgical music possessed by Verdi’s Requiem.

Messa di Gloria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQIMkQ4XFQE

GLORIA from Puccini’s Messa di Gloria

REQUIEM

 

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Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813 –1901)

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813 –1901) represents the height of Romantic Italian opera. He probably is best known for his operas, La Traviata and Aida. He a wrote a Requiem Mass, which benefits greatly from his theatrical experience, and a few other smaller sacred pieces. It is so theatrical and popular that there seems to be more YouTube videos of great performances of this mass than any other that I have researched to this point.

Requiem

BBC Prom 13 -BBC documentary , discussing the theatricality of the Requiem which threatened to lose official church sanction, and his inclusion of women that had to be hidden to obtain that sanction

Performance with Margaret Price, Jessye Norman, José Carreras, Ruggero Raimondi, and Claudia Abado

Performance with Karajan conducting La Scala Orchestra and Chorus of Milan

Performance with Leontyne Price, Fiorenza Cossoto, Luciano Pavarotti, Nikolai Ghiaurov

“Dies Irae” from Requiem, conducted by Leonard Bernstein

Verdi:Requiem-Bernstein-Arroyo-Veasey-Domingo-R.Raimondi

 

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Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 –1924)

Gabriel Urbain Fauré (1845 –1924) was a French composer, organist and teacher. He had great impact on French music and 20th-century composers. At age 9, he attended a music Institute in Paris, where he was trained to become an organist and choirmaster. He earned his living by teaching and playing organ and often had little time to compose. As a result, much of his music was composed later in his life, when he had earned some security to permit it.

Fauré is considered to bridge the Romantic era with the 20th century style, then known as Modernism.

Requiem, op.48

Requiem – Libera me, In Paradisum
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSKhlAUYDcE

 

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Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) was a Russian composer of symphonies, concertos, operas, and chamber music. He remains a favorite of audiences. He is lesser known for his choral settings of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. His career began as a civil servant, but he received a Western musical education at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He attempted to wed his Western education to his Russian folk roots. Folk purists might find fault with that effort, but from a Western perspective, his music is a culmination of Romanticism, steeped in folk heritage.

His music is well known and much loved. He tried marriage so that he might appear to be of “normal” sexuality, but that was a disaster. He wrote to his brother concerning it:

There is no doubt that for some months on and I was a bit insane and only now, when I’m completely recovered, have I learned to relate objectively to everything which I did during my brief insanity. That man who in May took it into his head to marry Antonina Ivanova, who during June wrote a whole opera as though nothing had happened, who in July married, who in September fled from his wife, who in November railed at Rome and so on – that man wasn’t I, but another, Pyotr Ilyich.

He was dogged with depression throughout his life. Yet his music is beautiful and much loved. Few would suspect, for example, that the Nut Cracker uite arose from such turmoil.
Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

Liturgy. Fragments. Vladimir Miller basso profundo

“Hymn of the Cherubim

9 Sacred Pieces No. 1 – Cherubic Hymn 1

9 Sacred Pieces No. 4 – To Thee We Sing

9 Sacred Pieces No. 5 – It is truly meet

9 Sacred Pieces No 6 – Lord’s Prayer

9 Sacred Pieces No. 7 – Blesssed are they whom Thou hast chosen

9 Sacred Pieces No. 8 – Let my prayer arise

9 Sacred Pieces No. 9 – Now the powers of Heaven

Male Choir of St. Petersburg: “The Lord’s Prayer”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCeG9cBrtRQ

Hymn of the Cherubim – USSR Ministry Of Culture Chamber Choir

 

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Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 –1921)

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 –1921) was a French composer, organist, pianist, poet and playwright. He wrote extensively in a wide range of genre. As with some prophets, he was better known and respected abroad than in France, his home. His creative output occurred earlier in life, when he was prone to depression.

Oratorio de Noêl

Oratorio de Noël: Tecum principium

Christmas Oratorio
Performed by Unknown Choir In Three Parts

The Entire Oratorio Performed by the Chicago Chamber Choir

“Ave Verum Corpus

Tollite Hostias (et adorate)

Requiem, Op.54

Organ Works
Tu es Petrus

“PRELUDE

Organ Symphony

“Finale”

 

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Johannes Brahms (1833 –1897)

Johannes Brahms (1833 –1897) was a German composer and pianist, popularly classified as the last of the “Three B’s,” with Bach and Beethoven being the first two. He greatly expanded and developed the Baroque and classical forms that he had inherited from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. He did not begin the study of the piano until he was seven years of age. To relieve his family’s poverty, he played piano for the dance halls, some suspect, of ill repute. Having high expectations of himself, he destroyed many of his first compositions, and he did not attempt to compose symphonies until later in life, feeling that he lay in the shadow of Beethoven.
Schumann befriended Brahms and championed his music. With mental difficulties that Schumann experienced later in life, he played an important role in the management of Schumann’s affairs. He had a close relationship with Robert’s wife, Clara, who was 15 years older than he. He never married, but his music was an avenue for expression of his passion. His choral masterpiece is the German Requiem, based, not upon the Catholic liturgical mass, but rather, Scriptures typically cited by Protestants concerning death and hope.
Ein Deutsches Requiem

 

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