Friday, January 25, 2013

Where late the sweet birds sang


Visited post-administration HMV. Love high street record stores. But my local HMV is a harsh and uninspiring browsing environment. There is no evidence of personal musical journey, no shared dream, no positive progress and no satisfaction.

Read Universal Music supremo Max Holes’ presentation to the Association of British Orchestras. Love new thinking. But he is advocating reactive innovation without support of statistics or successful case studies and oblivious to impact on vital core audience franchise. There is no evidence of personal musical journey, no shared dream, no positive progress and no satisfaction.

Deeply moved by Where late the sweet birds sang with Magnificat directed by Philip Cave on Linn. Love Tudor church music. But these are little-known Latin settings from Robert Parsons, Robert White and William Byrd in new editions by Sally Dunkley. As Sally explains in her sleeve note:

Considering and compiling this recording is something that has occupied my thoughts over several years. Both in content and performing style it represents the fruits of a personal journey that started at a time when most of this music was not at all widely known. None of us dared to dream then that it could ever be shared with the thousands of people who have now come to value it. Time moves on, and witnessing that positive progress gives cause for some satisfaction.
Max Hole, HMV and British orchestras please note.

* More on Max Hole's Association of British Orchestra's presentation here.

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3 comments:

GiordanoTed said...

I just listened to the first piece of Magnificat's "Where late the sweet birds sang", and I am perplexed by the Latin pronounce. "Aspice" sung as "aspiTSE"? We might never know how Romans pronounced, or whatever you'd like to call it original Latin pronounce, but I strongly doubt it had this British inflection. The same for "eius" pronounced "ejus" with the J for Jet. On my book, it should be "eius" with a long 'i' like the first sound of "York". The music is wonderful and the singing is magnificent, but I think Philip Cave and Magnificat should verify their Latin pronounce.

Pliable said...

Sally Dunkley has sent me the following reply to the comment above:

Hello GiordanoTed, I'm delighted to read that you enjoyed the performances by Magnificat/Philip Cave.

The question of how Latin was pronounced in different places has been studied by a number of people; you can read a little about it in the preface to Philip Brett's 1972 edition of the Byrd five-part Mass (Stainer & Bell), and a lot about it in Harold Copeman's book 'Singing in Latin' (1990).

Magnificat's pronounciation on this CD was based on what is generally accepted as 'English' Latin at that time.

Best wishes,

Sally Dunkley

GiordanoTed said...

Thank you Pliable and Sally Dunkley for the most corteous and erudite reply. I suppose the matter of the precise Latin pronunciation will be a tricky one forever and ever. I will check out the recommended readings and listen many many times to the wonderful music in "Where late the sweet birds sang".