Sing We and Chant It – Thomas Morley





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Uploaded on May 23, 2009

Artist: The Douglas Frank Chorale
Composer: Thomas Morley (c.1557-1602)

Sing we and chant it, while love doth grant it,
Not long youth lasteth, and old age hasteth;
Now is best leisure to take our pleasure.

All things invite us now to delight us,
Hence, care, be packing, no mirth be lacking;
Let spare no treasure to live in pleasure.

English composer, Thomas Morley, was a staunch proponent of Italian music. He used his treatise, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Musicke (1594) to extol the virtues of newer Italian composers and their techniques.

Morley was obviously taken with a collection of balletti by Mantuan composer, Giovanni Gastoldi, published in 1591. He borrowed tunes from and modeled Sing We and Chant It directly after Gastoldi's balletto, A Lieta Vita (To Happy Life).

Though set to voices, the Italian balletto was designed to be danced to at either courtly ceremonies or theatrical entertainments; hence, its bright and playful rhythmic qualities. It is unclear whether the English adaptations were also meant for choreographic use. Nevertheless, they retain the flavor of their Italian prototypes.

The "fa-la-la" refrains are typical of the form -- inviting imagination -- as are the homophonic settings; the repeating stanzas, strophically set to music; and the lighthearted nature of the text.

S: Sara Botkin, Cynthia Shaw
S: Grace Check, Melissa Raymond
A: Ariane Reinhart
T: Thom Baker, Marcos Vigil
B: Steve Friedman, Gregg Lauterbach, Mark Sullivan

Recorded May 2000
"You'll love the performers." - The NY Times
"This CD takes you to another place, another time, and a higher plane. What is most remarkable about this CD, since many of the selections are familiar to conductors and singers, is the truly stunning ensemble performance of these professional singers ~ I would venture to say transformational ~ creating music and a recording of it that is special and rare."

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