Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623) was an English composer and organist at Chichester Cathedral. He wrote mostly vocal music, including many madrigals. The Oxford Book of English Madrigals has more songs by Weelkes than any other composer.
For a church organist he appears to have been quite an unruly character. In spite of that, he remained in this post until his death. He was once fined for urinating on the Dean from the organ loft during Evensong. So….a sense of humour, then.
The tabor is a drum, as shown in the photo.
Don’t worry about the geography of the piece yet. We’ll work that out in one of our sessions. Just learning notes and rhythms and familiarizing yourself with the text is enough for now.
We have here a fun arrangement of Singing in the Rain, written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Remember when you’re learning this that the quavers are sung in a swing rhythm––not as straight quavers. Listen to the audio and you’ll see what I mean. We can talk about this more when we meet. Download PDF score here
Looking forward to seeing most of you on Thursday!
We’re tackling Wolfie Amadeus this week, so have a look and a listen and a sing through, if you have a few moments to spare. It’s not long but it is in Italian and presents some challenges vocally. I’ve put the Italian and its English translation at the bottom of this post.
Note: This is normally sung as a solo trio. I have embedded a video from Glyndebourne’s 2006 production DVD below the parts.
For those of you who weren’t at our last meeting I’m posting your homework assignment. DO NOT use a keyboard to help you with these. This is a sight reading exercise. Have fun with it and good luck. Directly below is a link for those of you who wish to download and print the page.
Please feel free to leave us comments about this on the website, too!
Following our lovely little discussion last evening about Shakespeare’s use of rhyme in Blow, blow, though winter wind, I’ve done a little bit of Googling. The bottom line seems to be that in Shakespeare’s time the word wind was still pronounced with a long ‘i’ vowel (probably spelled wynde) a hangover from Middle English.
According to THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by Charles Barber, Joan Beal, Philip Shaw:
“The word wind ‘moving air’ probably has its short vowel by analogy with words like windmill, where the third consonant prevented the lengthening from taking place. In Middle English, wind normally had a long vowel, and as late as Shakespeare’s time it rhymed with kind: thus when Shakespeare writes, ‘Blow, blow, though winter wind/Thou art not so unkind’ he is not using an eye rhyme, but a genuine rhyme that no longer exists today.”
There are modern days qualms about this, insisting that there is no reason for us to continue an archaic usage and simply treat this as a sight rhyme.
According to The Exciting World of Creative Writing by Ruth McDaniel
“Shakespeare’s uses of ‘wind’ and ‘unkind’ is an example of a sight rhyme.”
Both I find intriguing but let’s put it to a vote just for the sake of democracy.
It’s time to shiver through a sweet and lively yet wintery new piece. Aside from posting the graphics of the sheet music and the audio parts for you to listen to, I will also post PDFs of the sheet music (find links below parts) so you can download the lot and print it out if you so desire. Ain’t I helpful?
I thought I would repost the local musical events that we announced at last session.
First the Hospice Hymnathon 2015. It takes place Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 June 2015 at Lancing College Chapel. It’s being produced by Friends of Sussex Hospices and is a very worthy cause. Carol and I will not be involved but if any of you want to organize a group to go, that’s great. There is more information in the link above.
I grew up singing hymns and love them dearly but unfortunately most of the notes lie in places that cause my voice some distress, so I respectfully beg off.
The Lewes Singers are performing the Vivaldi Gloria (by Candlelight!) on Sunday 21 December at 6pm at St. Michael’s Church on the High St in Lewes. Nick Houghton is conducting and there is a small orchestra led by Julia Bishop. This is a very fine amateur group and worth your time. Further info in the link.
The East Sussex Community Choir and Orchestra (also Nicholas Houghton) will be performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio plus Christmas carols for choir and audience on Saturday 20th December at Lewes Town Hall at 7:30pm. I know that several of you are involved in this which is great. It’s a wonderful piece.
Carol says I should also tout the virtues of an upcoming concert that I am singing the solo tenor work in. The East Sussex Bach Choir is performing C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat and the Haydn “Nelson Mass” at St John sub Castro on Saturday 6th December at 7:30pm.
Here’s a lovely and varied arrangement of Good King Wenceslas for us to warble through. There are key changes aplenty and everyone gets a shot at the melody which gets tossed recklessly––sorry, I meant artfully––back and forth.
Here it is in all its comical splendour! The Official LVW Coffee/Tea Mug–– just waiting for some happy LVW newbie to grab them up. Only 4 left! And the first 4 people to leave a comment on this site or email me will have them, free for the asking to clear space in our office.