Palestrina portrayed

Giovanni Palestrina is one of the great sacred writers.  His masses, from his mid-16thC tenure in the Vatican, are one of the high points of Western culture. 

Missa Papae Marcelli of 1567, using six voices, and Missa Brevis are the best-known.  Even if you don’t know them by name, you’ll almost certainly recognise the melodies as they’re commonly used as scene-setters, denoting “Renaissance/High Church”, on television. 

Though few classical music listeners would rank Palestrina in their top five composers, many great musicians, better known than Palestrina, would beg to differ – he has always enjoyed a high reputation among later composers, who could wonder at his exemplary craft. 

And his reputation as a great cult composer among the listening public has been growing, slowly but inexorably: 450 years after his peak, Palestrina could well be a coming man.

The second part of BBC Four TV’s Sacred Music was a revealing tribute to the glory of Palestrina’s music.  You can catch a repeat, back-to-back with the first programme, on BBC Four on Sunday, 1900-2100.

And in a fortnight, the richly shot series reaches the Main Man – Johann Sebastian Bach.

Great art.  Wonderful arts television.  Highly recommended music for grown-ups. 

Gerry Smith



2 Responses to “Palestrina portrayed”

  1. Andrew Smith Says:

    Looking forward to programme three which features Essex man William Byrd who lived at Stondon Massey for the last 30 years of his life. Stondon Church, where Byrd was buried, will be included in this edition. I know St Peter & St Paul Church well. The churchwardens were involved in the filming last autumn which took over five hours.

  2. Suzzie Langley Says:

    J’ai visité ce site sur beaucoup une occasion maintenant, mais c’est le premier que j’aie jamais commentées.

    Haut sur un tel travail de première classe et de la critique. J’ai trouvé en lui un très grande partie de la valeur et – je souhaite seulement qu’il y avait plus de sites dans le monde blogue comme celui-ci.

    Je n’ai jamais s’écarter de ce blog les mains vides, et aujourd’hui encore, je peut se sentir un peu déçu que je ne peux pas le même point de vue à un poste ou cornue qui ont été réalisés. Mais hey! Qui est vivant, et si tout le monde ou réglés sur la même chose ou ce qu’est un problème ennuyeux planète nous vivons

    S’il vous plaît garder votre top travaux.

    Ceci étant dit, et si je suis aimablement autorisés à poursuivre mes participations Je vais revoir à afficher sur votre site Web bientôt


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