On the Friday of the crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, Boyer Writes presents the Requiem by Mozart
What is a Requiem?
Compositions written to honor the deceased, often in the form of a Requiem Mass. As early as the late 15th century, Requiems were composed using melodies from Gregorian chant.By the 18th century, composers began to create Concert Requiems that required large orchestras that were too large to be used at ordinary funeral services and were more like an oratorio.The 20th century saw the emergence of the War Requiem, or compositions to honor those killed in war. These Compositions will often contain secular text along with the religious text of the Requiem Mass.Over 2,000 requiems have been written by hundreds of composers over the years.a version of the mass performed to commemorate the dead.
Requiem by Mozart, performed by the National Orchestra of France, directed by James Gaffigan Turn up your sound
In this writing, we remember the birthday of my mother, Alta Bishop. She passed away last year and is shown here at her 93rd birthday party. On Dec 6 of this Advent season, 2012, she would have been 95. She loved Christmas and we celebrate it for her. Mostly, we rejoice that she is now with the Saviour sent to mankind so long ago.
Perhaps some of the most peaceful music is that of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D A German composer who played in the churches and with many important musicians of the 17th century such as JS Bach. Relax and enjoy this beautiful music.
Composing music in a time of turmoil and uncertainty was a difficult task that took courage and loyalty to preserving the sacred music of the Christian faith. It could mean being accused of treason and execution, depending on who was in power at the time.
The video below is a history of two of those composers, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. They were caught between the Catholic and Protestant world of Henry VIII. Their efforts and what they left for the world is worth our understanding. A tour is interesting of many of the places where the music was composed and performed. Musicians will appreciate the study of the music and its beauty.
Sacred Music Composers William Byrd & Thomas Tallis: “Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land”
When I spent time in Ukraine, I was most impressed with the love of music that surrounds Kiev and the people of this part of Europe. I sat in on music lessons for young adults at the Kiev School of Music. Their talents were incredible. Walk the streets and one will hear music coming from windows. The opera that I attended was probably the most beautiful that I have ever seen.
Who are the great composers whose music still lives long after their deaths? One of them is Chopin. His life was not a long one. Born in 1810 and being ill for some time, he died at the age of 39. A virtuoso of the piano. He was considered the “poet of the piano” and one of the great Romantic musicians.
The video that I have included in this writing is one on the life of Chopin and a young, modern man, James Rhodes, who set out to find information on the man whose music he loves to play. He wanted to know who influenced him and who put the song into Chopin. He needed to understand the background of this great Polish composer. This took him not only to Warsaw, Poland, but to Paris.
Russian rule in Poland changed Chopin’s life forever…never able to return, but filling his life and music with his memories of and his love for Warsaw. It is hard to imagine we are talking about Chopin as a very young man, much like James Rhodes. Chopin composed at the age of seven and wrote piano concertos at 17; fell in love at 19 but love was a hard part of his life. James Rhodes also feels that finding love is often difficult for most musicians…as it was for Chopin. From 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin, Baroness Dudevant, who wrote under the male pseudonym George Sand. She even dressed at times like a man. This writer spent a winter in Majorca at an abandoned Carthusian monastery which she describes in one of her books. Chopin was ill with tuberculosis at this time and she left him before his death. One can still visit the monastery today.
At age 21, Chopin went to Paris which was the cultural center of the world. He reached out to this “music paradise”and especially to those who sang for operas. He supported himself financially by sales of his compositions and as a piano teacher.
This video is about finding and living your passion. Reaching our dreams often takes research as history teaches it to us. How does history effect our own lives? Can we learn lessons from those who have already lived?
In music…instruments are often connected. Chopin found his inspiration for the piano from the human voice. The composer finds his own style. In the case of Chopin, his was one of delicate touch. He played late into the evening and sometimes the people in the saloons would hear him, knowing his great talent. “Fingers seemed to be brushed by an angel’s wing” as one writer expresses.
Set aside time to see this entire documentary…at least 30 minutes. I do not expect that all readers will have an interest, but for those who do have a passion for music…this is my written gift to you. Enjoy!
VIDEO OF JAMES RHODES AND THE LIFE OF CHOPIN
The music of Handel is some of the greatest music of our times. It took him only 24 days to compose the works that we know today as Handel’s Messiah. He began the work on September 1741. Handel died in 1759. Of German birth, Handel spent most of his years in Italy where he wrote operas. He wrote over 40 operas and soon became one of the most popular and successful composers ever.
A beloved part of the Messiah is “LIft Up Your Heads”. As we lift up our heads, we do so because He has made life one for optimism, not doubt. We also lift up our heads because we are looking for the return of out Lord Jesus Christ, who promised that we would one day see Him coming in glory.
Turn up your sound and view this performance of Handel’s great work on this Advent Moments.