One of the interesting things about this occasional #MarianMay series has been how many living, contemporary composers continue to create works setting classic texts of Marian piety. From Arvo Pärt to Stefano Lentini to Krzysztof Janczak it is evident that these prayers continue to inspire. Here is a composition by the British composer Margaret Rizza, commissioned a few years back by The Sixteen for their “A Mother’s Love” album of Marian recordings:
Henri Dallier succeeded Gabriel Faure as organist of La Madeleine in Paris. This composition is performed by the current organist, Francois-Henri Houbart, who has been in post since 1979 – one of the great things about organ music is the intimate relation with the actual instrument and its location, and the form of apostolic succession among organists.
“Monstra te esse matrem” means “Show Thyself A Mother” and is from the Marian prayer “Ave Maris Stella”
Interestingly, “A Mhuire Mhathair” is not a traditional Irish hymn, but the result in the 1970s of setting an Irish text to the Maori tune Pokarekare Ana :
From “Unchained”, this is a cover of a song written by Josh Haden of the band Spain:
The call of the curlew is its best known feature – indeed, the potential disappearance of this sound from the soundscape of the countryside is one of the most potent emotional factors that gets people’s attention about their plight. Here is a haunting piece of music inspired by the call.
One of the more colourful, if not notorious, characters of British music was Peter Warlock. Like Arnold Bax he gained much inspiration from a sojourn in Ireland
“The Curlew” song cycle is a setting of some Yeats’ verse, taking its title from “He reproves the curlew” (the same He who also wishes for the cloths of heaven):
O, curlew, cry no more in the air,
Or only to the waters in the West;
Because your crying brings to my mind
Passion-dimmed eyes and long heavy hair
That was shaken out over my breast:
There is enough evil in the crying of wind.