Tim Thurston's music choices for the week of June 8th

11 June 2020 / News
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Renowned music lecturer Tim Thurston, a favourite with dlr Libraries members, shares with us his music choices in the hopes that music can provide some calming reassurance and will lift our spirits during this worrying time.
 

MONDAY - JOHN TAVERNER - MISSA GLORIA TIBI TRINITAS. The pre-eminent English composer of the early 15th century, beginning the Golden Age which ended with Gibbons around 100 years later. His florid large-scale Magnificats and Masses are truly glorious.
EVENING JAZZ. Benny Goodman's 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert was one of the most splendid jazz recordings of the time - and the LPs came with me to Dublin in 1963 and were quickly worn out - but never to be forgotten.

TUESDAY - CHANT - BENEDICTA SIT - The Introit for Trinity Sunday.
EVENING JAZZ - WAYNE SHORTER - Born only 7 years after Miles and Trane he continues to play wonderful saxophone into his 80s - a major figure, and composer and teacher. His recent Blue Note albums are as good as any.

WEDNESDAY - I am not a fan of "Big Band" Beethoven but his String Quartets - from the Haydnesque Op.18 to the astonishing Op.131 are  breathtaking. There is something very special about String Quartets - so many composers seemed to save their most sublime and deeply felt music for the form.
EVENING JAZZ - Welsh Pianist GWILYM SIMCOCK was termed "A creative Genius" by Chick Corea. Never a dull moment - surprise, harmonic subtlety, technical mastery.

THURSDAY - Frenchman, OLIVIER MESSIAEN is often cited as the greatest composer of sacred music of the 20th century for his prolific and thrilling organ music. O SACRUM CONVIVIUM, a Eucharistic motet is his only choral work. How sad - its very lovely.
EVENING JAZZ. The young German pianist, PABLO HELD is another classically trained pianist for whom improvisation seems to come naturally. He also does excellent interviews on YouTube with renowned jazz musicians including Wayne Shorter - and Bill Frisell, Dave Holland and Chris Potter.

FRIDAY - DOMENICO SCARLATTI is most famous for his 555 sonatas for harpsichord - which still often begin piano recitals. But I am very fond of his choral works - especially his exquisite 10 part Stabat Mater and this lovely Eucharistic Motet Cibavit Eos. He filled them with the best wheat and honey from the rock.
EVENING JAZZ. Nguyen Le is a French/Vietnamese guitarist with an immediately recognisable sound heavily influenced by far-eastern music. A typical example of how the jazz of today has blossomed far from New Orleans.

SATURDAY. I have spent some time in the lovely city of Padua, near Venice so know about St Anthony, a Portuguese Franciscan who died there in 1231. GUILLAUME DUFAY's mass in his honour is lovely.
EVENING JAZZ. London based sax player SOWETO KINCH is one of the most powerful jazz voices of today - in many ways. He has won many awards - features a lot on the airwaves and demands to be heard.

SUNDAY. All of HEINRICH SCHUTZ's many works are vocal, sacred, in German or Latin so no wonder they are not so well known. I put him in the front rank of those who deserve more exposure. He was a major influence on Bach, his 2 visits to Venice giving his sacred expressions a passionate Italianate sparkle. Try his Deutsches Magnificat.
EVENING JAZZ. Do give Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel a serious listen. His ECM album Travel Guide - with fellow guitarist Ralph Towner is my favourite for the instrument from recent years. Muthspiel also has a very pleasing voice.
 

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