Monday, February 22, 2010

In Praise of Polyphony (Music for Mondays)

You can blame this article and my good friend (and frequent YIMC commenter) James for this post. Seal and the immortal Stevie Ray Vaughn will have to step aside for a week, to make way for Palestrina, Clemens non Papa, Byrd, and 20th-century composer Eric Whitacre. This is music as it was meant to be, four hundred years ago. I could imagine Warren Jewell tapping his feet to this stuff, if it had a beat. 

We begin with the Nunc Dimittis, set to music by Giovanni Pierluigi di Palestrina (1525–1594).

Next up, “Ego Flos Campi” by Jacob Clemens non Papa (1510?–1555?).

Here’s “Vigillate” by William Byrd (1540?–1623).

Finally, here is a 20th-century example of polyphony, Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque.”