February 27, 2011

Mary Cassatt, Mother Jeanne nursing her baby, private collection, 1907-08

Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you
[NRSV, Isaiah 49:15]

Christ Church Cathedral Choir Notes  
Eighth Sunday after Epiphany

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Patrick Wedd

Patrick Wedd plays an organ recital at 3:00 pm, next Sunday, February 27, at l’Église des Saints-Anges in Lachine. Included will be music by Copland, Peeters, Locklair and Jongen.

Paul Jacobs

Paul Jacobs has won this year’s Grammy for the Best Instrumental Soloist Performance, Classical Division, with his Naxos recording of Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement performed on the 1933 Aeolian-Skinner organ of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City. The recording is available for online listening through the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (Montreal). Click on [NML] if one has a library card and is ready to open one's account (dossier) online. Check with your local librarian. One can also listen courtesy of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra by joining their email club: Beethoven on Demand. Click here.

Listen to Paul's comments on his surprising win.

Click to go to a Pipedreams programme of Paul Jacobs performing on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Pipe Organ [2006 Dobson] in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

Joos van Wassenhove, The Institution of the Eucharist, Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino, 1473-75

Ave verum corpus

Ave verum corpus by William Byrd is the Communion anthem for Choral Eucharist this coming Sunday.  It is a short Eucharistic hymn that has been set to music by various composers. It dates from the 14th century and has been attributed to Popes Innocent IIIInnocent IV and Innocent VI.
During the Middle Ages it was sung at the elevation of the host during the consecration. It was also used frequently during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The hymn's title means "Hail, true body", and is based on a poem deriving from a 14th-century manuscript from the Abbey of ReichenauLake Constance. 

The poem is a meditation on the belief in Jesus's Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to ideas on the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers [adapted from Wikipedia].

Ave verum corpus, natum
   de Maria Virgine, [or: ex Maria Virgine]
Hail, true Body, born
  of the Virgin Mary,
vere passum, immolatum
   in cruce pro homine,
truly suffered, sacrificed
   on the cross for humankind,
cuius latus perforatum
   fluxit aqua et sanguine: [or: unda fluxit sanguine]
whose pierced side
   flowed with water and blood:
esto nobis praegustatum
   in mortis examine. [or: mortis in examine]
May it be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
   in the trial of death.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie, O Iesu, fili Mariae.
   Miserere mei. Amen.
Oh dear Jesus, Oh merciful Jesus, Oh Jesus, son of Mary,
   have mercy on me. Amen.  

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (K. 618) is perhaps the best known of all. Of the many other settings of the poem, the best known are probably those by William Byrd and Sir Edward Elgar. There is a version by Camille Saint-Saëns.  The text is even used in an opera, Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites.

Mozart's version, with instruments only, was adapted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as one of the sections of his Mozartiana, a tribute to Mozart. 

The Vienna Boys' Choir (Wiener Sangerknaben) made some notable recordings of Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus in the 20th century.

Gregorian chant

Monks of the Abbey of St. Maurice and St. Maur, Clervaux [listen]

Monks and boys of Downside Abbey [listen]

The Brotherhood of St. Gregory [listen]

Susan Peck [listen]

Giovanni Vianini [YouTube]

Orlande de Lassus, Ave verum corpus, Canticum [YouTube]

Lodovico da Viadano, Ave corpus verumVox Hesperia (Romano Vettori), Ensemble de cuivres anciens du Conservatoire supérieur de Lyon, Jean-Pierre Canihac conducting. [listen]
William Byrd, Ave verum corpus, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips conducting [YouTube]

William Byrd, Ave verum corpus, Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown conducting; Dominic Wheeler, organ [listen]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ave Verum corpus, Vienna Boys' Choir [YouTube]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ave Verum corpus, Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Leonard Bernstein conducting [YouTube 

Charles Gounod, Ave verum corpus, performed by the Peiyang Chorus & Mao Yong [YouTube]

Francis Poulenc, Ave verum corpus, Sofia Vocal Ensemble [YouTube]

Gabriel Fauré, Ave verum corpus, Op. 65, No. 1, Cambridge Singers, John Rutter conducting; John Scott, organ [listen]

Sir Edward Elgar, Ave verum corpus, Op. 2, No. 1, Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown conducting; Dominic Wheeler, organ [listen]

Karl Jenkins, Ave verum corpus, sung by Chantelle Constable [YouTube]

Colin Mawby, Ave verum corpus, Tewkesbury Abbey ChoirNicholas, Benjamin, conducting  [NML(info

Franz Liszt composed a version for organ and choir in 1871 [Searle 44].  This had been preceded by a fantasy for piano on Mozart's Ave verum corpus, preceded by a version of Allegri's celebrated 'Miserere', under the title 'A la Chapelle Sixtine' [Searle 461 - two versions]. Versions of this fantasy for orchestra [Searle 360] and piano four-hands [Searle 633] follow closely the 2nd version for piano. The is also a version for organ [Searle 658] with the title 'Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine.'

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart) [1st version], S461, Leslie Howard, piano [CML(info

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart) [2nd version], S461, Leslie Howard, piano [CML(info

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum Corpus de Mozart), S461Valerie Tryon, piano [NML(info

Franz Liszt, Ave verum corpus, S44, for chorus and organ [ensemble not identified] [YouTube]

Franz Liszt, Ave verum corpus, S44, Stuttgart SudfunkchorRubert Huber conducting [NML] (info

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart), S360, Netherlands Philharmonic OrchestraHartmut Haenchen conducting. [NML(info)

Franz Liszt, A la Chapelle Sixtine (Miserere d'Allegri et Ave verum corpus de Mozart), S363, Elisabetta Dessì and Francesco Giammarco, S363 [NML] (info) 

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Olivier Vernet on 1888/2001 Rinckenbach/Aubertin organ in the church of Saint-Thiébaut in Thann, Haut-Rhin.  [YouTube: Part I - Part II]  

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Christoper Herrick, on the 1878/2000 Lewis/Harrison organ of Ripon Cathedral [CML(info

Franz Liszt, Evocation à la Chapelle Sixtine, S658, performed by Martin Hasselbock on the Ladegast organ of St. James Cathedral in Köthen [NML] (info

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Orchestral Suite No. 4 Op. 61 (Mozartiana) performed by The Chicago Symphony, Claudio Abbado conducting.  [listen to entire work]

Mozartiana is in four movements and lasts approximately 20 minutes.

1) Gigue. Allegro (G major)After the Little Gigue for piano, K. 574. [listen]

2) Menuet. Moderato (D major)After the Minuet for piano, K. 355.  [listen]

3) Preghiera. Andante ma non tanto (B flat major)After Franz Liszt's piano transcription of the Ave verum corpus, K. 618. (In 1862 Liszt wrote a piano transcription combining Gregorio Allegri's Miserere and Mozart's Ave verum corpus, published as "À la Chapelle Sixtine" (S.461). Tchaikovsky orchestrated only the part of this work that had been based on Mozart.)  [listen]

4) Thème et variations. Allegro giusto (G major)After the piano Variations on a Theme by Gluck, K. 455. (The theme was the aria "Unser dummer Pöbel meint", from Gluck's opera "La Rencontre imprévue, or Les Pèlerins de la Mecque").  [listen]
A recent version of this piece was recorded by the girl choristers that make up the group "All Angels"; the words set to the music from the ITV series Brideshead Revisited by Geoffrey Burgon. [YouTube]

[Information from Wikipedia.]


Peter Paul Rubens, The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard, Musée du Louvre, Paris
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cantata for Sexagesima Sunday:

Performance of Cantata 18 conducted by John Eliot GardinerTon Koopman Pieter Jan Leusink and Jeffrey Thomas. [text/listen