A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 13

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Today’s Lenten musical selection is a traditional Holy Week motet from the lengthily-monikered Pau Carles Salvador Casals i Defilló: “O vos omnes.” Master Defilló (aka, Pablo Casals) is perhaps better known — OK, surely better known – for his transcendent performances as a cellist than for his compositions (or for his significant contributions as a teacher). And while his fame as a [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 12

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Heading back to Thursday’s entry for just a second, here’s the aforementioned Alexander Grechaninov’s “Behold the Bridegroom” from his aforementioned Passion Week. I saved it for Sunday to so as to offend our H-Word sensibilities as little as possible. Gorgeous. (The whole thing is not to be missed, actually.) Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia Behold the Bridegroom [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 11

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In keeping with the day, a Marian (but also Lenten) selection: “Quando corpus morietur” from the Stabat Mater of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi. (I especially love the wavering strains of the “Amen.”) Quando corpus morietur, Fac, ut animæ donetur Paradisi Gloria. Amen When my body dies Grant that to my soul is given The glory of paradise. Amen Attribution(s): [Read More...]

Just Putting This Here, In Case Anyone Needs It

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It’s been less than a week since the Oscars ground their 3+hour-way through my Sunday, and this is already pretty much the only thing I can remember. Yep, that’s Will Arnett. In Val Kilmer’s Bat Suit. And yes, that’s Devo’s (and Wes Anderson’s) Mark Mothersbaugh. And Roots drummer ?uestlove. A mishmash of such random awesomeness that [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 10

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And now, in a bit of a departure from the last few days, here’s a piece that’s neither Russian nor Romantic (but still somber): the “Beschluss” from Heinrich Schütz’s Johannes-Passion (SVW 481). After picking this, I realized that Schütz’s Passions are the only a cappella ones I can recall at the moment. They’re unusual that way (at least in my [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 9

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One more Russian “Thief,” this time from Alexander Grechaninov’s Passion Week. (Remember those names. More anon.) This particular version (and its wonderfully-eerie overtones) comes from Charles Bruffy and The Kansas City Chorale, who are absolute staples in my chorale-music diet. Their stuff is really, really wonderful (as evidenced here). Разбойника благоразумнаго во едином часе раеви [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 8

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Here’s another setting of “The Wise Thief,” this one coming our way courtesy of one of my very favorite Russian composers, Pavel Chesnokov: Разбойника благоразумнаго во едином часе раеви сподобил еси, Господи, и мене древом крестным просвети и спаси мя The Wise Thief didst Thou make worthy of Paradise in a single moment, O Lord. By the wood [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 7

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Staying with the composerial trend we started yesterday with Sergey Taneyev’s cantata, here’s his “The Wise Thief (Razboinika blagorazumnago).” The Penitent Thief is pretty much my personal Lenten patron. Or at least a paradigm of the way my Lenten efforts typically proceed. I feel like I’m always squeezing in at the last possible second, late-but-sincere. (Or late, at least.) My Russian’s [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 6

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Today’s piece is a Russian cantata: Sergey Taneyev’s “John of Damascus.” Sometimes described as “The Russian Requiem,” it’s huge, densely melodic, and filled with gorgeous longing. That last bit is what makes it particularly appropriate for Lenten meditations, methinks. (There’s a through-line here from the last few days, as well, and not just because Taneyev and [Read More...]

A Lenten Musical Journey, Day 5

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Since we’re already in Tchaikovsky territory (thanks to yesterday’s post), here’s #8 of his Nine Sacred Pieces: “Let My Prayer Arise.” Da ispravitsya molitva moya, yako kadilo pred Toboyu: vozdeyanie ruku moeyu, zhertva vechernyaya. Gospodi, vozzvakh k Tebe, uslïshi mya: vonmi glasu moleniya moyego, vnegda vozzvati mi k Tebe. Polozhi, Gospodi, khranenie ustom moim: i [Read More...]


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