Tim Thurston's music choices for the week of May 25th

25 May 2020 / News
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Renowned music lecturer Tim Thurston, a favourite with dlr Library 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.

Last Thursday saw the Feast of the Ascension and on Sunday 31st May the Visitation is celebrated - no sacred text has been set to music more frequently throughout the centuries than the Magnificat - Mary's joyous Hymn of Praise.

MONDAY - PALESTRINA - VIRI GALILAEI - "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to Heaven?" This dramatic Ascension text has been set by many composers - Palestrina wrote both a Motet and a Mass based on it.
EVENING JAZZ - Joe Locke is a very fine player of the vibraphone, an instrument with a rich thread through jazz from Milt Jackson and Lionel Hampton, through Gary Burton to Stefon Harris. He is on the Staff of the Royal Academy of Music!! Try an enthralling album called Van Gogh by Numbers.

TUESDAY  - VIRI GALILAEI is the title of an excellent anthology from Oxbridge's most recent choral foundations, that of Merton College, Oxford. Peter Phillips of the Tallis Scholars and Benjamin Nicholas co-founded in 2008 - their recordings are excellent - the setting of Viri Galilaei is the one by Patrick Gowers who died in 2014, most renowned for his scores for films and TV.
EVENING JAZZ -  Ella Fitzgerald's unique voice is my favourite and her readings of the great American Songbook are unsurpassed and her 3 albums from the mid 50s with Duke Ellington and his band are Desert Island material.

WEDNESDAY - CHANT - Exaudi Domine. "Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come unto thee" - Psalm 23, one of the Penitential Psalms.
EVENING JAZZ - Cannonball Adderley. Many lovers of the Improvised Art will know Miles Davis' 1959 album Kind of Blue intimately - I play it through at least every year and am always amazed at how every member of the band seems to hit their peak. With Trane, Miles and Bill Evans so obviously starring, Cannon on alto seems perhaps to be left behind. I have also loved his album Somethin' Else (also starring Miles) for many decades

THURSDAY - CHARLES VILLIERS STANFORD - MAGNIFICAT. Every Sunday in many places in the Anglican world an Irish composer's work is sung. Stanford, born in 1852 in Herbert St, Dublin became Professor of Music in Cambridge and the most renowned teacher in the Royal College of Music in London. His many Magnificats are splendid.
EVENING JAZZ - PAUL BLEY - Like Oscar Peterson, he was a Canadian pianist of the highest order. Closer to the edge, Bley always has something unusual and interesting to say.

FRIDAY - BUXTEHUDE - MAGNIFICAT. In 1705 Bach walked the 250 miles from Arnstadt to Lubeck to sit at the feet of the Master, Buxtehude. We've heard some of his organ music but JSB was equally influenced by his vocal music.
EVENING JAZZ. Pianist ENRICO PIERANUNZI has played in Dublin a number of times to great acclaim - he is one of Europe's finest contemporary players and has recorded many excellent albums.

SATURDAY - Romantic piano music seems absent from my listening - but that by Robert Schumann has long pleased me - in certain moods! Try some Humoreske Op. 20.
EVENING JAZZ. AVISHAI COHEN, Israeli born bassist moved to St Louis in his teens. There was a time when jazz bass players (they never use the word double)  just walked along as part of "The Rhythm Section". Nowadays they play a major melodic role and Cohen is one of the best. (There is a trumpeter by the same name who is also worth an ear.)

SUNDAY - ARVO PART - MAGNIFICAT - I was overwhelmed by this work hearing it first in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin many years ago. It's  ethereally beautiful music in his unique style.
EVENING JAZZ - MARTY EHRLICH is one of those musicians who is not a "big name" but always gives me much pleasure when a new album comes along. He plays all sorts of saxophones, clarinets and flutes, surrounds himself with excellent sidesmen and never plays a boring phrase.

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