Posts tagged renaissance

The Sixteen – Miserere mei, Deus

This is one of those pieces that once you hear it, you can listen to it over and over and over again on repeat without ever losing interest. I was first exposed to this by way of a compilation album in 1997, called Agnus Dei. I had forgotten about it for years and then some time between last year and now, I found it again and completely fell in love with it again. London-based The Sixteen completely do this piece justice and are one of my preferred performers.

Originally composed by Gregori Allegri (1582 – 1652), this piece originally could only be performed in the Sistine Chapel (unless you wanted to face excommunication). Writing it down was also forbidden. Allegedly, Mozart copied it from memory in his youth.

If you have not been blessed to hear it live, you must if you ever have the opportunity to do so. The high C performed will send chills up your spine. St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati was host to this glorious piece as part of their Tenebrae service (performed by their AMAZING in-house choir) and it was, for lack of a better word, epic. They perform this piece every year so keep March 27 marked in your calendars for 2013.

Below is the performance by The Sixteen that includes the English translation from the original Latin in captions. I would highly recommend their album, Sounds Sublime, which includes Miserere. You can also just buy the Miserere album.

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Lyrics (click more):

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Anúna – Ah, Robyn

Ah, Robin

First off, this is one of my most favorite choral groups, primarily because they take visual cues rather than having a conductor/director. It’s amazing to watch live (I had the opportunity a few years back).

This song is on their latest album, Illumination, which you can get from a variety of vendors including iTunes. It’s a Madrigal and was composed by William Cornysh (1465-1523). I was first exposed to this particular song by The Tallis Scholars. I saw them in Cincinnati at the St. Peter in Chains Cathedral for their concert series. If you love sacred/choral music, check out their new schedule for 2012-2013. They have a fantastic lineup including The King’s Singers, Tenebrae and Chanticleer. Their own in-house Cathedral Choir is amazing as well. I attended the Tenebrae service in April.

Here’s a preview of their entire album…

More about Anúna on their website.

Lyrics:

Ah, Robin, gentle, Robin,
Tell me how thy leman doth
and thou shalt know of mine.

My lady is unkind I wis,
Alack why is she so?
She lov’th another better than me,
and yet she will say no.

Ah, Robin, gentle, Robin,
Tell me how thy leman doth
and thou shalt know of mine.

I cannot think such doubleness 
for I find women true,
In faith my lady lov’th me well 
she will change for no new.

Ah, Robin, gentle, Robin,
Tell me how thy leman doth
and thou shalt know of mine.

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