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Charles Edward McGuire

Charles Edward McGuire >

Hallelujah, Amen: The World of Sacred Music
Episode 1 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Begin by exploring the contexts in which Western sacred music developed, from its use in religious ritual to its emergence in the concert hall as edifying entertainment. Then encounter three distinct eras in sacred music, hearing excerpts from medieval chant,…
From Chant to Early Sacred Polyphony
Episode 2 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Trace the roots and origins of sacred music in the Christian West, beginning with the history of chant, a way of singing prayer unaccompanied by instruments. Using diverse musical examples, learn about the structure and styles of chant, and how…
The Golden Age of Polyphony
Episode 3 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Follow the rise to prominence of both the composer and their patron, observing how sacred music adapted to musical fashions. Explore polyphonic innovations in masses by Guillaume de Machaut and Guillaume Dufay, and in Josquin des Prez's superlative motet, Ave…
Art for Art’s Sake: Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Episode 7 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Trace the convoluted compositional history of the magnificent Mass in b minor, and explore Bach's motives for composing a work with no real practical function. Study how Bach blends older and newer musical styles and recasts musical material from his…
Mozart’s Requiem: Praise and Memory
Episode 10 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Learn the mysterious and romantic story behind this extraordinary masterwork. Study the musical traits of the Classical Era and the genre of the requiem mass, as ingeniously embodied in Mozart's music. Then investigate Mozart's musical "rhetoric," the technical means through…
Man and Meaning: Bach’s Cantatas
Episode 6 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Bach's sacred works are perhaps the most celebrated in Western music. Learn about the chorale and cantata, musical forms famously used by Bach. Study his great Cantata No. 80, a beautiful example of Bach's ingenious blending of the traditional (a…
Handel’s Great Oratorio: Messiah
Episode 8 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
In the first of two lectures on Handel's Messiah, study the genre of oratorio, and see how Handel adapted it for his own purposes. Investigate the lives and partnership of Handel and Charles Jennens (the Messiah's librettist), and discover some…
The Age of Reformation: Who Will Sing?
Episode 4 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Delve into the religious reformations of the 16th century, and learn how the underlying theological debates shaped sacred music. In particular, grasp how changes in Christian ritual impelled William Byrd, Martin Luther, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina to pioneer new…
Sacred Music in a Secular World
Episode 5 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
By the 17th century, fashionable music began to be equated with secular music. Through studying Claudio Monteverdi's masterpiece, the Vespro della Beata Virgini, and Heinrich Schutz's extraordinary Musikalische Exequien, learn how both composers mixed sacred styles with elements from secular…
God, Man, Music, and Beethoven
Episode 12 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
In the first of two sublime sacred works by Beethoven, his oratorio Christus am Olberge, grasp how he uses dramatic expressive means to emphasize the suffering of Christ--suffering with which he personally identified. In the great Missa Solemnis, follow how…
Mendelssohn’s Elijah
Episode 13 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
In Elijah, Mendelssohn created a compendium of what the oratorio had been, balanced against what it could be. Through listening to compelling excerpts, observe how he includes evocations of Handel, Bach, and Haydn, framed within his own unique musical rhetoric,…
Sacred Music in the Late 19th Century
Episode 15 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Beginning in the late 19th century, composers of sacred music began to question institutional conceptions of faith. Here, study one monumental yet very personal work, Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem; one very anti-monumental expression, Faure's Requiem; and one that seems monumental,…
Messiah: From Entertainment to Ritual
Episode 9 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Learn about the sources and meanings of the Messiah's text, and witness the remarkable realization of the text in Handel's music. Explore Handel's brilliant compositional ingenuity in the oratorio, and follow the story of how the Messiah rose to become…
Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius
Episode 14 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Learn about the creation of Elgar's exquisite and very Catholic oratorio, against the musical and religious backdrop of 19th-century Britain. Study how Elgar infused The Dream of Gerontius with Wagnerian operatic elements such as continuous musical narrative, leitmotif, and lavish…
Come, All Ye Faithful: Music of Christmas
Episode 16 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Conclude with a look at the rich tradition of Christmas music. Explore music designed for yuletide religious services, as well as musical works that became associated with Christmas. Learn how 19th-century composers created a beloved legacy of Christmas carols by…
Haydn’s The Creation
Episode 11 of The Great Works of Sacred Music
Take account of the influence of Handel in this beloved oratorio, and discover the integral role played in its creation by a noble patron and two Viennese institutions. Explore the range of Haydn's powerful musical language, evoking the Chaos before…
The Great Works of Sacred Music
Western classical music is one of humanity's most sublime artistic traditions. This musical language - encompassing genres from symphonic and instrumental music to choral works and opera - was created through the meeting of art and faith. The lineage of…
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