Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Adrian Willaert's Magnificat

I'm so excited I found this piece!!! I found this CD in Border's but didn't want to pay for it so I'm so pumped I discovered it again in Naxos. This kind of music is great to listen to any time. It sounds like plain chant only there are male and female voices. I think the female voices are only used because we don't have men with such pure and mature high range voices anymore. The beginning starts with males and females singing a small opening foundation of a few chords that sound like the rising sun. This is followed by a section sung by males. After this, the women enter again and the tones are long and sustained. I love the purity of every tone and the simplicity of the harmony that seems to grow to create something enchanting. I hear four parts that all seem tied together yet like individual chants that imitate and play off each other. It's almost as though the voices are in a round. The second large section ends on a plagal cadence. That's really cool because I don't hear many of those except in religious music. There is a lot of call and responce too. This piece really makes me think of Josquin's Motet. It sounds like free rhythm. The only way to really hear the definite ends of phrases is by the dramatic pauses. The phrases are all asymmetrical. Most of them end on PACs. It is an incredibly soothing, reflective piece.

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