Sunday, December 4, 2011

Council of Trent and Music

image photo : Music book
Photo courtesy FreeImagesLive

On this day in 1563, 448 years ago, the deliberations of the Council of Trent ended.  A result of the Counter-Reformation, the Council of Trent had a heavy impact on all art forms, in particular music, which became less polyphonic and more rhythmically simple. 

I won't go into all the implications the Council of Trent had on music, nor the supposed and actual interactions the composer Palestrina had with the Council of Trent, because I am familiar with all of this.  I will share, however, one of my favorite pieces of Counter-Reformation music, which is the Kyrie that Palestrina composed for his own funeral mass, Missa pro defunctis.  The most beautiful recording of this Kyrie I've ever heard is by Chanticleer, but I can't find one of their performances of this Kyrie on the internet.  Instead, click here for a performance by Capella Victoria Jakarta.

What is your favorite piece of music from this era, and why?

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