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I've just noticed there isn't much classical music I associate with Easter.

There are a few pieces for Good Friday. Both Haydn and the French composer Dubois composed pieces based on "The Seven Last Words of Christ."

I wouldn't call either of those standard or well known repertoire.

There is a slew of pieces written on the text of "Adoramus te Christe". This is also Good Friday music as the text is from the Catholic Stations of the Cross.

Adoramus Te, Christe, et benedicimus Tibi, Quia per sanctam crucem Tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee, O Christ, And we bless Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross that hast redeemed the world.

The best know of these is by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. We can just call him Palestrina.

Palestrina was born in either 1525 or 1526 in the town of...Palestrina, an ancient town near Rome that once was famous for an enormous temple to the goddess Fortune.

Most of his career was spent at St. Peter's in The Vatican. He was the first Italian to set the Latin Mass to music. Previously, it had been French and Spanish composers who wrote the music for the mass.

In the 1570's, Palestrina lost his wife, two sons, and a brother in three separate out breaks of plague.

He considered becoming a priest but married a wealthy widow which allowed him the freedom to compose freely until his death in 1594.

He wrote 105 masses, 68 offertories, 140 madrigals and some 300 odd motets.

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nan shartel April 24, 2011 @ 9:12 a.m.

traditional Gregorian chant for Easter

i sang in the choir for Easter for many years when i was in boarding school down at the Old Mission De Acala ;-D


Altius May 4, 2011 @ 2:07 p.m.

I place Palestrina among the top 5 composers of all time. His Sicut Cervus is a masterwork rivaling any.


pcbick May 12, 2011 @ 2:01 p.m.

It would be hard to let this item pass without a comment. How about Bach's St. Matthew and St. John Passions (both heard recently in San Diego), or the Easter Oratorio? Much tastier than kale. Also the Schuetz Seven Last Words, Graun's "Der Tod Jesu", Handel's Brockes Passion, and Beethoven's "Christ on the Mount of Olives". Your apparent unfamiliarity with, or lack of appreciation of, these works does not qualify you well to write the "Adoramus" blog.

Peter Bickelmann


Garrett Harris May 18, 2011 @ 1 a.m.

I thought about the Passions because my room mate was the baritone soloist with the Bach Collegium for the St. John's. He recorded it so I had to lend an ear as he tried to find balances to make the chorus sopranos sound better.

A couple peeps from my church choir were in the St. Matthew.

I can't count the number of times I've sung the Hallelujah from the Beethoven but I confess that's the only thing I've heard from it.

I'll admit I haven't heard of Graun at all or Schuetz (Heinrich Schutz?), or Handel's Brockes Passion.

I will not claim to be an authority of or even an appreciator of vocal music earlier than Mozart. I find the performance style to be annoying, self righteous, academic, and cowardly. If I could find someone willing to actually sing it instead of manipulate it with affected, early music timbre, I might change my mind.

I like Eileen Farrell's Bach Cantatas and Vickers singing Total Eclipse along with the reorchestrated Messiah. The recordings I gravitate toward tend to be from the 1960's.

This might make me a philistine but I just don't care for period performances. I don't care how it sounded in Handel's day, give me an interpretation not a reproduction.

That being said, for some reason I really like Paul McCreesh's Victoria recordings.


Joaquin_de_la_Mesa May 12, 2011 @ 3:13 p.m.

You're making Garett's point, Peter. Most of the pieces you just mention are Good Friday related, not Easter-related.

That said, there's plenty of Easter music out there. Viadana's Haec Dies is one. Bodenschatz's Surrexit Christus is a favorite of mine. But neither well known. There is a very short, very allegro Bach Alleluia which I love. I couldn't find any of these three on youtube.


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