Tim Thurston's music choices for the week of June 1st

04 June 2020 / Nuacht Leabharlainne
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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 - JOSQUIN DESPRES - Veni Sancte Spiritus. When the Sistine Chapel was refurbished a 500 year old signature was discovered on a wall - of the most renowned composer of the early 16th century. Josquin sang in the Papal Choir - his Masses are supreme works. He became such a major name that many works were spuriously attributed to him - perhaps even this Pentecost Motet.
EVENING JAZZ - I first heard the powerful alto player, Steve Coleman, in a tiny bar on the Quays in Dublin. His acerbic tone and virtuoso style was central to the development of a group named the M Base Collective which often included dancers and poets.

TUESDAY - CHANT. Spiritus Domini - the Introit for Whit Sunday.
EVENING JAZZ  - Self-taught Californian Carla Bley is still playing keyboards well into her 80s with her white shock of hair, especially with her now husband, super bassist Steve Swallow and tenor Andy Sheppard. Their recent ECM albums are excellent.

WEDNESDAY - MOZART - DIVERTIMENTO TRIO K563 - 45 minutes of Mozart heaven. This is another LP which I wore out with hundreds of playings. If you should be feeling a little low - this will surely lift you to such heights.
EVENING JAZZ. I had the huge thrill of a number of gigs in Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village before it so sadly closed last year. The finest musicians chose to play in this tiny intimate space - I well remember a glorious evening with trumpeter RALPH ALESSI.

THURSDAY - MAURICE DURUFLE - I love Durufle's Requiem every bit as much as the more famous one by his contemporary Faure - I've also grown to enjoy French organ music of the period - Durufle's Variations on Veni Creator Spiritus, Come Creator, Spirit are typical.
EVENING JAZZ - New York saxophonist Dave Liebman has been a leading figure for almost 50 years and is a frequent visitor to Ireland, playing, teaching, lecturing and he has even made a CD titled Standards in Dublin with Ronan Guilfoyle.

FRIDAY - WILLIAM BYRD - MASS IN 4 PARTS. Byrd composed 3 Mass settings - for 3, 4 and 5 voices, written to be sung in the chapels of recusant Catholic families during the reign of Elizabeth. They are all wonderful but the Agnus Dei of the Mass a 4 is a true masterpiece.
EVENING JAZZ. How we have come so far without choosing the music of saxophonist JOHN COLTRANE, I cant think. Love Supreme is another masterpiece to be sure.

SATURDAY. J.S.BACH - ORGAN CHORALE PRELUDES - BWV631 and 667 - KOMM, GOTT SCHOPFER. The big Toccatas and Preludes and Fugues of Bach still feature centrally in so many organ recitals but my favourite works are the shorter variations on Lutheran chorales. These 2 are fascinating contrasts to the Durufle above.
EVENING JAZZ. ECM records from Munich have often been mentioned in these columns but I am also a great fan of the Dutch label Criss Cross. They are famed for introducing young US musicians and some have risen to the top rank - one such is Dave Binney an alto player from Miami.

SUNDAY. There are  many renowned Song collections in the history of music - Lieder by Schubert and the Great American Songbook are I suppose the most renowned. I would add the great chansons of 14th and 15th century France - especially those which have survived from the pen of Guillaume Dufay. He is better known for his Mass movements and motets - the most famous of his age - but the songs are really lovely - try Emma Kirkby with Gothic Voices.
EVENING JAZZ. Michelle Rosewoman is yet another splendid US female pianist well worth a listen. There are so many who have emerged in recent decades. No longer does a female jazz musician mean a vocalist!!

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