I love singing!! So do most people, I’m sure. I have always been part of choirs or informal singing groups, (and I don’t mean karaoke). There is something about singing that moves the soul. Or maybe it is something about music, making music, listening to music, that moves the soul.
Recently I joined a choir again. Ancór. Ancór is the Irish word for choir. It is a small musical ensemble with between four to seven in each voice group these voices groups become smaller and smaller as the music divides in more harmonies! It is a musical ensemble where voices (oppose to instruments) harmonise – beautiful!
Most choirs consist of four voice groups, but there is no limit to the number of possible parts as long as there is a singer available to sing that part. A composer, Thomas Tallis, apparently wrote a unique motet (Spem in alium) for EIGHT choirs of FIVE parts each!!! Imagine that – must sound out of this world!
Well he had a pupil, William Byrd, and one of the pieces we are soon performing is a mass by this pupil – William Byrd. He was an English composer of the Renaissance (1540) and is apparently one of the great masters of the European renaissance. The mass is very tricky, but not to the scale of what Tallis composed! It is sung a cappella (as most masses, I think), so you really have to listen very carefully to those around you to harmonise. Absolutely love the challenge of that!
A more popular song we will also be performing is Hymn to the Fallen. This was the original soundtrack for the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998), composed by John Williams and a tribute to the American soldiers who paid the ultimate price. It is an extremely atmospheric and moving piece! Lots of strings and percussion as well.