‘Like as the Hart’ – Voices of Yearning

An online workshop for the Border Marches Early Music Forum.

Psalm 42, with its poetic evocation of longing, has drawn soulful settings from the pen of many composers down the centuries, including Howells, Mendelssohn and Palestrina.

In this workshop we get to know two glorious polyphonic masterpieces, written about a century apart on the fringes of Western Europe, which set words from that psalm.

John Taverner (c.1490-1545) was one of the greatest early Tudor musicians.  His sinuously woven Quemadmodum survives only as an untexted instrumental piece, but the words of psalm 42 fit so perfectly that we should be in little doubt that the piece was originally conceived for voices.

Our second work comes from Portugal during the period of Spanish rule. Sitivit anima mea by Manuel Cardoso (1566-1650) was published in 1625 and is perhaps the greatest single utterance by this wonderful composer.  Drawing its text from psalms 42 and 55, the counterpoint is noble, abstract yet highly emotive, with its portrayal of the soul rising like a dove on the wing to find its rest.

Both pieces are a joy to sing: characterful, highly expressive melodic lines, with delicious suspensions, especially in the Cardoso. David will briefly draw out points of technical interest, moments of special beauty and vocal challenge, but the bulk of the session will be spent singing (muted) together. It should make for a lovely evening as we look towards spring.

Advance booking is essential, via www.bmemf.org.uk.

Attendence is free, but partcipants are invited to make donations to cover BMEMF’s costs.