Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving, 2010

Last year in celebration of Thanksgiving I indulged in compiling list. I say indulged because I included no explanation or explication, unlike in my Mozart Counterpoint series which began at least as a sort of list. As such, I'll again leave you to determine the virtues of these works and the commonalities and differences amongst them. Last year's theme was simply art and Mr. Northcutt joined me in compiling a list of ten works. His 2009 List. My 2009 List.

I thought I'd make a tradition of it and compile a new list this year with a new theme. This Thanksgiving the topic is Sacred Music. This list is 15 items instead of 10 and this time is in a sort of order: consider the listing to be in three tiers and consider the order within those tiers to be a little loose (except for the #1 spot.) I tried to avoid listing different settings of the same text and to avoid listing many works by the same composer. I also confined myself to settings of Latin texts only. Also and obviously, the list could be much longer.

15) Laudate pueri Dominum, 'Psalm 112,' RV.600 - Laudate, pueri, Dominum; laudate nomen Domini (Antonio Vivaldi) [YouTube]

14) Dixit Dominus - Dixit Dominus Domino meo (G.F. Handel) [YouTube] [Text]

13) Te Deum (Anton Bruckner) [YouTube] [Text]

12) Spem in alium (Thomas Tallis) [YouTube]

11) Ave Maria (Josquin des Prez) [YouTube]

10) Mass for Four Voices - Agnus Dei (William Byrd) [YouTube]

9) Vespro Della Beata Vergine - Ave Maris Stella (Claudio Monteverdi) [YouTube] [Text]

8) Mass in C minor, KV.427 - Kyrie (W. A. Mozart) [YouTube]

7) Mass in B minor - Credo - Et resurrexit (J. S. Bach) [YouTube]

6) Ave verum corpus, KV.618 - (W. A. Mozart) [YouTube]

5) Missa Papae Marcelli - Gloria (Giovanni Palestrina) [YouTube]

4) Officum defunctorum - Kyrie (Tomás Luis de Victoria) [YouTube]

3) Mass in B minor - Gloria - Cum sancto spiritu (J. S. Bach) [YouTube]

2) Mass in C minor, KV.427 - Sanctus (W. A. Mozart) [YouTube]

Missa Solemnis in D, op.123 (Ludwig van Beethoven)
 Credo - Et incarnatus est  (see 3:40)


  1. Thanks! A veritable cornucopia of musical delights. But I'm at a loss as to the unifying characteristic, or even the logic of the three groups. I was thinking along the lines of songs of praise, faith, etc, but that doesn't work. Then I was thinking interesting use of minor keys for celebratory music but that doesn't hold. Could it have something to do with how the voices are deployed? Hope you had a great holiday!

  2. The unifying characteristic is more or less just my own opinion that these pieces are the best settings of those particular texts. I suppose then the list is mostly a reflection of my own thoughts about these pieces, aesthetics, and sacred music. I also think these pieces all have great power of expression and meaning, but also posses a certain dignity.

    Thanks for the warm wishes!

  3. Monteverdi's Ave is an extraordinary composition, one of my favorites. I'd compile a list too, but it would be very, very similar to your own.