Critical mass

Byrd: Mass for 3 voices Pro Arte Singers. Paul Hillier The opening of the Byrd 3-part mass. The composer produced three settings of the liturgical text: in four parts (published 1592-93); three parts (1593-94) and five parts (1594-95). Since Catholicism was proscribed under Elizabeth I, they seem to have been intended for single voice performance […]

A bad knight

When, early in 1847, the Schumanns returned home to Dresden from a concert tour, Robert found himself all fired up with the idea of writing an opera. He chose (surprise! surprise!) a romantic tale of crusades, knights and damsels in distress (with a bit of magic thrown in for good measure). The story centres on […]

Rhenish

Robert Schumann wrote four symphonies. The last of them, the third (don′t ask! …well, not yet, anyway) was dubbed – not by Schumann – The Rhenish. With the exception of one movement, it’s a rather jolly work and its nickname seems, for once, almost justified [seeming to conjure the great waterway (of course); jolly peasants; […]