Singing workshop with Deborah Roberts – details of repertoire

Deborah Roberts has sent us details of the music she would like to cover for her workshop in Worcester on 1 September – there are too many pieces here for just a day, so let us know when you book if there’s something you would particularly like to do!

Book through Eventbrite or send us a cheque (see our Events page for details).

Music from renaissance Europe
The migration of musical trends via travelling musicians

Summary: Musicians have always travelled. Many during the Renaissance spent their entire lives moving from country to country, and court to court where they mingled with other musicians from all over Europe, sharing ideas, trends and new techniques. This workshop looks at some of the really big ‘stars’ whose names and music were widely known – and even copied – as well as some lesser-known, but fascinating and influential composers in their day, whom history failed to do justice.

 Suggested repertoire:

The Franco-Flemish school
The first renaissance ‘trend’ to really hit Europe came from composers born in Northern France and the Low Countries. Large numbers of them travelled to Italy and worked in a variety of cities, notably Ferrara, Florence and Rome. Franco-Flemish polyphony is characterised by rich sonority with quite complex inner structure. It’s wonderfully rewarding to sing. The most famous composer to emerge from this school was Josquin des Prez, who actually clarified the style and had a huge impact on the next generation of composers throughout Europe

Josquin des Prez                         Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (SATB)                                                                                      Salve Regina (SATB)
Cipriano de Rore                         Descendi in hortum meum  (SSAATTB)*

Palestrina and the Roman school
Franco-Flemish music had a strong influence on Italian composers, and Palestrina is famed for having perfectly combined the rich polyphonic style of the previous generation with an Italian tunefulness. Although Spanish, Tomas luis de Victoria spent most of his life in Rome, only returning to his native country towards the end of his life. His style shows influences from both countries

P. Da Palestrina                               Agnus Dei from the Missa Brevis
Tomas Luis de Victoria                 3 Tenebrae Responsories
                                                                 Seniores Populi (SATB)
                                                                 Tamquam ad latronem (SATB)                                                                                             Caligaverunt oculi mei (SATB)
                                                                 Introit from the Requiem (SSATTB) 

The Iberian style to the New World
Via mission centres often run by Jesuits, much Iberian music was exported to the New World, eventually leading to great musical centres such as Mexico

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla             Stabat mater (SATB) 

Meanwhile in Britain
British polyphony had quite a distinctive style until after the Reformation and a lot of that was to do with the choral tradition and the choir schools that trained boy trebles to such a high standard. Thomas Tallis lived  under five monarchs during his long life and wrote for both the Catholic and Anglican churches. His pupil and friend, William Byrd, shared his Catholic faith, and both would have encountered the many Italian composers who visited or lived in London during the reign of Elizabeth 1st.

Thomas Tallis                      In manus tuas (SATBarB)
                 8th tune from Archbishop Parker’s Psalter – God grant with grace
                 9th tune from Archbishop Parker’s Psalter – Why fumeth in sight

The European connection
To end, a famous connection between 2 composers: Phillipe de Monte, born in Belgium but worked mostly in Italy, England and Austria, wrote Super flumina, and sent it to William Byrd, who responded with a 2nd part: Quomodo cantabimus. Both pieces reflecting on the misery of exile.

Phillipe de Monte      Super flumina babylonis (SATB – SATB)                              

William Byrd                 Quomodo cantabimus   (SATB – SATB)