Skip to comments."Lost" 450-Year-Old Mass Soars on British Charts
Posted on 03/15/2011 9:30:33 AM PDT by marshmallow
LONDON (Reuters) - A sumptuous first recording of a long-lost 450-year-old Italian Renaissance mass written for 40 different vocal parts has soared onto British pop charts a week after its release.
The recording by British vocal group I Fagiolini of the little-known Alessandro Striggio's 1566 Mass for 40 Voices -- most masses are written for four -- made its debut at number 68 on the pop charts, above Bon Jovi, George Harrison and Eminem.
It was number two on the classical charts, just behind Dutch violinist waltz master Andre Rieu.
"We really worked hard so that there could be a properly magnificent and extravagant sound world for the piece to revel in," I Fagiolini's conductor and founder Robert Hollingworth, 44, who thinks the mass has a "mesmeric" quality, told Reuters in a telephone interview Sunday.
"This is not the grainy, black-and-white film, this is the full Hollywood Technicolor. I think that's why it works so well...it's like a kind of aural kaleidoscope."
The mass was performed in several major European cities when it was written but had been mis-catalogued at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris where it was rediscovered a few years ago by musicologist Davitt Moroney, and given its first modern performance at the BBC Proms in London in 2007.
I Fagiolini and their label Decca Classics, a part of the Universal music group, spared no expense on the recording. It uses five choirs and a panoply of period instruments, from trombone-like sackbuts to the 11-stringed lirone, a cello precursor, as well as lutes, recorders and Renaissance strings.
(Excerpt) Read more at ca.reuters.com ...
Thanks for the post.
Here is the meat of an email about this pieces that I just now (literally 2 minutes before seeing this just now at FR) sent to a freind of mine, who is an ameteur musicologist:
Davitt Moroney discusses the genesis of Striggio’s long-lost Mass, and how he discovered it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ls_9id5ba4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missa_sopra_Ecco_s%C3%AC_beato_giorno Loss and recovery: After Striggio’s exhausting 1567 European tour with his work, it disappeared for more than four centuries. While he left copies of it at several locations he visited the court of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, the court of Albrecht V in Munich, the court of Charles IX of France all copies had been lost. However, a copy of the mass was made in the early 17th century in France, presumably from the copy Striggio left in Paris for Charles IX. Because of several corruptions and copyist errors both on the manuscript and in the card catalogue, when the enormous document, which had been transferred to Louis XV in 1726, from the library of composer Sébastien de Brossard, and then passed to the Paris Bibliothèque nationale, the mass was attributed to an “Alessandro Strusco” and the “40 voices” had been amended to “4 voices” (presumably the copyist thought the “40” was in error, and removed the extra zero). It was only in the 21st century that the work was recovered and identified by Davitt Moroney. Its first performance in modern times was on 17 July 2007 at a Proms concert in Royal Albert Hall in London, where it was sung by the BBC Singers and Tallis Scholars, conducted by Moroney.
A commercial recording featuring voices and period instruments was released by the British ensemble I Fagiolini in March 2011:
I. Kyrie & Gloria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc8NYimOizU
II. Credo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPWL4awWcEw
III. Sanctus & Benedictus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtnpN3N3wDE
IV. Agnes Dei http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrjQIuhsknM
Robert Hollingworth, director of the new recording, discusses surround sound and other technical details of the recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOUPv3fc6G0
Robert Hollingworth discusses the piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDUDWvB31lU
Robert Hollingworths advice to conductors regarding the piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR8fyloU8IQ
Anyone have any idea how I can hear this?
Thanks - can’t listen to Youtube at work, so pinging for home.
Thank you for posting the links to the youtube. I wasn’t finding any recording. It’s beautiful.
Here is the commercial site, which has some audio clips:
Ping for later.
Wow! I’d love to get my hands on some of those instruments. The intricacies of all the voices and instruments is amazing. What’s also amazing is finding something like this on the British record charts. I’d like to know what they are singing. I don’t speak Latin very well.
Thanks for the links...beautiful
Pinging Conservaliberty....your hubby will find this interesting
later, & thanks
And well forgotten in my opinion......... ;-)
The title of the Mass is in Italian, meaning "Behold so blessed a day" and the music is based on the melody of the motet "Ecce beatam lucem" or "Behold the blessed light".
That is some exquisite music. Thanks for sharing.
Love the authenic instruments they show.
Classical Music Ping List ping!
If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.
SanctaMissa.org has the side by side Latin and English
Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
From the Introit to the Offertory - includes Kyrie, Gloria, Credo
From the Offertory to the Sanctus - includes Sanctus
Canon of the Mass
From the Pater Noster to Communion - includes Pater Noster and Agnes Dei
From the Ablutions to the Last Gospel
Leonine Prayers after Low Mass - includes Ave Maria
Thanks Just so beautiful!!
THX MM for the post. The article is fascinating, & I cant wait to hear the piece.
Thanks for the ping. I used to perform a lot of Renaissance music. What an interesting project this would have been!
Interesting. Thanks for posting.
Of course, on this ping list, I'm probably just preaching to the choir.