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For keen singers #SingTheScore is our YouTube series written and presented by Robert Hollingworth. One mini-masterwork per show: historical intros from Robert, a few poor quality jokes, then sing along with I Fagiolini… like a YouTube ‘score video’ but on steroids.

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Full Episode listing

#SingTheScore No.31

John Wilbye - Draw on Sweet Night


Everyone's favourite madrigal: John Wilbye's 'Draw on, sweet night' and a slightly EPIC new Ficta Police episode.

TAGS : 1609, English Madrigal, Secular, SSATTB

INCLUDES : John Wilbye (historical background). FICTA POLICE. Melancholic pop songs (John Dowland). Dissonance ('filth’). 'Stop the Chord' with the King's Singers! (False relations). Modulations.

SPECIAL GUESTS : The King's Singers

#SingTheScore No.32

Richard Nicolson - Sing shepherds all


A two-pronged attack: watch a compilation of every Ficta Police appearance, and enjoy the breathless momentum of Nicolson's 'Sing shepherds all', from Morley's 1601 'The Triumphs of Oriana'. 

TAGS : 1601, English Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : FICTA POLICE episodes complete. Thomas Morley (historical background). The Triumphs of Oriana (1601).


#SingTheScore No.29

Ignazio Donati - Dulcis, Amor Iesu


Hyper-expressive setting from a Monteverdi contemporary.  Explore 'Cantar Lontano' (singing from afar) with I Fagiolini. Learn how composers use harmony to create tension.  Religious vs erotic texts.  Meet the Renaissance Conductor Toolbox! 

TAGS : 1612 Latin, Sacred, SATTB + continuo

INCLUDES : Circle of fifths. Cantar lontano (singing at a distance). Song of Songs. Renaissance Conductor Tool-Box. Giulio Caccini's Le Nuove Musiche (1602). FICTA HOTLINE. Tertiary shift!


#SingTheScore No.30

Victoria - Alma Redemptoris Mater


A hyper-sensual 8-voice setting of one of the four Marian antiphon texts. Learn some historical context and find out why Robert draws our attention to the "hessian undergarment textural interest". PLUS the next instalment in the Ficta-Police-Matrix saga.

TAGS : 1581, Latin, Sacred, SATBSATB

INCLUDES : Circa (Australian contemporary circus company) & I Fagiolini's 'How like an Angel' project. Spanish Renaissance.  Victoria (background + relationship with Palestrina). Texture and imitative polyphony. Vowel consonance & dissonance. Passing notes. FICTA POLICE.

SPECIAL GUESTS : Gesualdo 6, Julia Doyle, Apollo 5, University of York Students

#SingTheScore No.27

Tomkins - Too much I once Lamented


Get down and vocally dirty with the blend, vowel match and just intonation. Enjoy clips from I Fagiolini's performance in the Polyphonic Concert Club, and the cinematic excellence of the extended Ficta Police feature.

TAGS : 1622, English Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : "Thomas Tomkins (historical background). Modes (Dorian) & tritones. Harmonic series (just intonation, blend, semitone tuning). Robert's favourite "falalas”. French overture style. Musica recta and ficta & the FICTA 

SPECIAL GUESTS : Stile Antico, Nicholas Mulroy, Greg Skidmore, Matthew Brook, Blake Morgan, University of York Students & Alumni

#SingTheScore No.28

William Byrd - Deus, venerunt gentes


Short of history of Roman Catholic Byrd's music used as politics in the 1580s. Featuring two other important Byrd motets of this type.

TAGS : 1589, English, Sacred SAATB

INCLUDES : Word-painting

SPECIAL GUEST : The Cardinall's Musick, Roderick Williams, Peter Phillips, Tamsin Greig, Emma Kirkby

#SingTheScore No.25

Herbert Howells - Long Long ago


The least known of Howells' Four Carol Anthems (along with A Spotless Rose, Here is the Little Door and Sing Lullaby), Robert talks to Paul Spicer about this gem and how it relates to Tudor church music, plainsong and jazz.

TAGS : 1951, Sacred, English, Christmas, SATB

INCLUDES : Paul Spicer (Howells' biographer and leading UK choral director). False relations. The feel of Howells & his harmonic thumbprint. Modes (Phrygian and Aeolian). Finzi Singers. Parallel fifths.  Tertiary shift! 

SPECIAL GUESTS : Singers from I Fagiolini, Paul Spicer

#SingTheScore No.26

Clément Janequin - La Chasse


Not for the faint-hearted, this episode features Renaissance French pronunciation, high-octane consort singing and some rather blue Rabelasian humour. It is worth the effort though - so take the challange and give it 'une whirle'!

TAGS : 1528/37, French, Parisian Chanson, SSATTBarB. 

INCLUDES : Brueghel and Bosch paintings. Musical in-jokes within the score. Early French pronunciation. The Stag Hunt. Interviews: John La Bouchardière / Matthew Brook. Unseen footage Peter Wilson production. Virtuosic singing.

SPECIAL GUESTS : Eamonn Dougan, Stuart O'Hara, Matthew Brooke, John La Bouchardiere, Peter Wilson MBE, Timothy Knapman, Herve Baudry

#SingTheScore No.23

Tomkins - It is my well-beloved's voice


Robert delves into the history and quirky word-painting of a charming Song of Songs setting from 'The last Elizabethan'.

TAGS : 1622, English Song, Devotional, SSATTB

INCLUDES : Thomas Tomkins (historical background). Text setting & word painting. Secular madrigals & part-books. Song of Songs. Modes (Mixolydian)

SPECIAL GUESTS : Merlin (DOG), SVES cohort 20-21

#SingTheScore No.24

Monteverdi / Soriano - Ave Maris Stella


A tune that inspired (more than) 100 settings.  Find out about the religious and historical context of this hybrid monster by both Monteverdi and Soriano, and meet the actual Ficta Police for the first time.

TAGS : 1610, Latin, various + continuo

INCLUDES : Modes (Dorian). Cantus firmus, canons & obligho (technical challenges for composers). Monteverdi Vespers. FICTA POLICE.

SPECIAL GUESTS : Ben Byram-Wigfield, Hugh Keyte

#SingTheScore No.21

Purcell - Urge me no more


Witness Anna Dennis' stunning performance of this dramatic song and understand why it works so well by understanding the wrench that the harmony provides. Again featuring clips from Stour Music, 2020.

TAGS : 1682, English, Devotional, high voice + continuo

INCLUDES : Purcell solo songs. Figured bass. Circle of fifths. Both a performance to view and singalong versions!

SPECIAL GUESTS : Nicholas Mulroy, Stuart O'Hara, Greg Skidmore, Eamonn Dougan, Anna Dennis

#SingTheScore No.22

Purcell - Let mine eyes run down with tears


"Prepare to be ravished, yea even up unto the third heaven, by this exquisite verse anthem."  Recitative and daring harmonies (close to jazz) including major-minor chords.

TAGS : c.1682, Anthem, SSATB + continuo

INCLUDES : Analysis of biblical text. Modes (Mixolydian). Harmonic series. Tertiary shift! 

#SingTheScore No.19

Monteverdi - Zefiro torna (five-voice)


Where Greek mythology meets the Ficta Hotline via Petrarch's Laura again.  Featuring clips from Voces8's Live From London Summer Concert Series.

TAGS : 1614, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : Luca Marenzio (historical background). Musical/harmonic analysis

Hemiolas. Seconda prattica. Late Renaissance word-painting. Tuning. FICTA HOTLINE.

SPECIAL GUESTS : Owain Park, Elam Rotem, Eamonn Dougan

#SingTheScore No.20

Purcell - The sparrow and the gentle dove


From one of Henry Purcell's 24 Odes, this magnificent 'ground' (repeating) bass aria is performed by the silver voice of Hugo Hymas, and the Academy of Ancient Music. Robert explores the jazz-like harmony accompanied by video from Stour Music, 2020.

TAGS : 1683, English, Secular, Aria, Tenor solo + continuo

INCLUDES : Henry Purcell (historical background). Ground bass. Major/minor clashes. Ornamentation.

SPECIAL GUESTS : The Academy of Ancient Music, Hugo Hymas, Nicholas Mulroy, Roderick Williams

#SingTheScore No.17

Monteverdi - Rimanti in pace


One of I Fagiolini's favourite pieces, this absolute classic by Monteverdi is laid bare with the help of some familiar faces.

TAGS : 1592, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : Early Monteverdi setting. Harmony as tension. Word painting. Ennunciation of text. Tuning. 

SPECIAL GUESTS : Members of I Fagiolini and Roderick Williams

#SingTheScore No.18

Carlo Gesualdo - Tu m'uccidi


From Gesualdo's final book of madrigals. Analyse his peculiar harmonic progressions and word painting, and bust some myths about him along the way.

TAGS : 1611, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SATTB

INCLUDES : Carlo Gesualdo (historical background). 16th century microtonal keyboards. Seconda prattica. Word painting. Performance techniques e.g. sprezzatura.

SPECIAL GUESTS : Owain Park, Eamonn Dougan, Blake Morgan, Timothy Knapman

#SingTheScore No.15

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Rest


This is Vaughan Williams but sounds like Robert Lucas de Pearsall.  Performance by the 2017-18 Solo Voice Ensemble Singing MA cohort from The University of York. Insights about Christina Rossetti by Stuart O'Hara.

TAGS : 1902, Partsong, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : "Ralph Vaughan Williams (historical background). Diphthongs. Pointless Greg Skidmore interview. Christina Rosetti & Pre-Raphaelite movement.

SPECIAL GUEST : Greg Skidmore, SVES 2017-18

#SingTheScore No.16

Bheka Dlamini - Woah Lashona


To Johannesburg and the iscathamiya style of choral music. Clips from I Fagiolini's tour there in 1995, meet the Mtuba Thulisa Brothers and learn about Zulu pronunciation with Robert and Bheka in this stunning commission.

TAGS : 1998, South African, Secular, SATB

INCLUDES : SDASA Chorale & I Fagiolini collaboration. Isicathamiya (South African Zulu singing style, made famous by Ladysmith Black Mambazo). Zulu language and pronunciation.

SPECIAL GUEST : Bheka Dlamini

#SingTheScore No.13

Monteverdi - Ohimè il bel viso


Find out why Robert calls this piece the "climax of the Italian Madrigal". Gut-wrenching music articulating unrequited love and longing in a text by C.14th poet, Francesco Petrarca. PLUS the first appearance of the now infamous Musica Ficta Hotline...

TAGS : 1614, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : Monteverdi's Seconda prattica ('Second practice’). Harmonic series relevance - major/minor clashes within a chord. Musica ficta - the FIRST FICTA HOTLINE appearance.

SPECIAL GUEST : Ficta Hotline

#SingTheScore No.14

Orazio Vecchi / Giovanni Croce - Commedia dell'arte in music


From the sublime to the ridiculous: two stunning examples of Commedia dell'arte in music. Learn some fun historical context and enjoy Robert's increasingly outrageous musings. Also 'treacle' etymology.

TAGS : 1597 Commedia harmonica SATTB  / 1595 Mascarata, SSATTB

INCLUDES : Orazio Vecchi & Giovanni Croce (historical background). Commedia dell'arte. Harmonic Series. L’Amfiparnaso (1597) (madrigal comedy). Triaca Musicale (1595). Tertiary shift!

#SingTheScore No.11

Monteverdi - Vorrei baciarti


Things are hotting up with Robert's increasingly entertaining insights on the life of Monteverdi and the context that surrounds this duet from 'Concerto', his Seventh book of Madrigals. 

TAGS : 1619, Italian Madrigal, Secular, Alto duet + continuo

INCLUDES : Claudio Monteverdi (historical background). Poetic + musical analysis. Tuning. Ornamentation. Tertiary shift!

SPECIAL GUESTS : Stuart O'Hara, Matthew Brook, Pano Masti

#SingTheScore No.12

Tomkins - Weep no more, thou sorry boy


This 'absolute gem' is delightfully playful to sing but also a feast for the ears - and eyes, because of the "eye music" in the score. 

TAGS : 1622, English Madrigal, Secular, SATB

INCLUDES : Thomas Tomkins (historical background). Musical analysis . Modes (Aeolian). EYE music. Triple time 'coloration’. Tuning. Tertiary shift!

#SingTheScore No.9

John Bennet - Weep, o mine eyes


Bennet's famous but simple madrigal, made much less simple (but more beautiful!) by Robert's explanations of acoustically pure tuning. Includes piano destruction.

TAGS : 1599, English Madrigal, Secular, SATB

INCLUDES : Diphthongs, acoustics & the harmonic series. Tuning and equal temperament.

#SingTheScore No.10

Juan de Anchieta - Con amores, mi madre


Spanish historical context for this hypnotic piece (5 in a bar) by Anchieta.  Also Nicholas Mulroy's Spanish sports commentary.

TAGS : Early 16th Century, Spanish, Secular, SATB

INCLUDES : Early 16th century Spanish history. Spanish song collections. Time signature - 5 in a bar!

SPECIAL GUESTS : University of York Students & Alumni, Andrea Haines (Voces8), Kate Ashby (Stile Antico)

#SingTheScore No.7

Pierre Regnault/Sandrin - La volunté


The first #SingTheScore exploring the generally unsung world of Parisian Chansons. Learn about their history and watch some of the biggest names in choral singing accompany the music with their special - and occasionally historically accurate - dance moves.

TAGS : 1540s, Parisian Chanson, SATB. 

INCLUDES : Dance steps for the galliard. Influence of French chanson on Italian madrigals.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Roderick Williams, Bill Lyons (director of The City Music), University of York Students, Singers from Stile Antico, The Sixteen, I Fagiolini, Voces8, BBC Singers, Nicholas Mulroy (Commentary)

#SingTheScore No.8

Monteverdi - Anima mia, perdona


In-depth analysis and reflections on "One of the most emotionally shattering passages of a capella ever composed" from Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals.

TAGS : 1603, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SSATB

INCLUDES : "Giovanni Battista Guarini (poetry). Monteverdi reinventing madrigal textures: almost operatic declamation before an explosion of polyphony at the end. Harmonic colouring. Tertiary shift!  

SPECIAL GUEST : Matthew Brook

#SingTheScore No.5

Tomkins - Was ever wretch


Hear Robert try to explain what he means by an "Oxymoronic Metaphor for the Contradictions of Love" in one of Tomkins’ rarer Songs.

TAGS : 17th Century English Madrigal, SATB, Secular

INCLUDES : Passing notes, provocatively descriptive poetry expressed compositionally, word setting/painting in the music (heaven high, hell low). Greg Skidmore Warning.

#SingTheScore No.6

Monteverdi - Si ch'io vorrei morire


Get better acquainted with the intimate pillow talk of the Renaissance with Robert's reflections on this sensual masterpiece from Monteverdi's Fourth book of Madrigals.

TAGS : 17th Century, Italian Madrigal, SATTB, Secular

INCLUDES : Erotic poetry, renaissance music theory, Greg Skidmore warning, poetic analysis

#SingTheScore No.3

Monteverdi - Longe da te, cor mio


The remarkable and lesser-known penultimate madrigal of Monteverdi's Fourth Book explored and contextualised, featuring I Fagiolini's performance as featured in their 2007 film 'The Full Monteverdi'.

TAGS : 17th Century, Italian Madrigal, Secular, SATTB

INCLUDES : Historical context of Monteverdi's 4th Book of Madrigals. Reinventing the Madrigal. John la Bouchardiere - The Full Monteverdi. G Mixolydian. Poetic reading. Soundworld created by acting singers.

#SingTheScore No.4

Monteverdi - Zefiro torna


Highly inventive and funky 6 minute tenor duet over a 'ground bass'. The west wind returns but the poet still feels blue (from Scherzi Musicali, 1631). With an outrageous slide at 5’23.

TAGS : 17th Century, Italian Madrigal, TT + continuo, Secular

INCLUDES : 6 minute-long duet for two tenors, written introduction from Robert. The return of the West Wind. Scherzi Musicali. Ground bass with improvisation.

#SingTheScore No.1

Monteverdi - Luci serene e chiare


The first ever episode of Sing The Score in which Robert shows how Monteverdi uses word-painting in the score to bring Arlotti's stunning poem to life. 

TAGS : 17th Century, Italian Madrigal, SSATB, Secular

INCLUDES : Brief poetic analysis. Part book scores. Word painting

#SingTheScore No.2

Byrd - Miserere Mihi


Byrd's captivating sacred motet dissected and brought to life - with historically informed pronunciation - by Robert and I Fagiolini. 

TAGS : 16th Century, SAATTB, Sacred

INCLUDES : Historical context - not specifically to be sung in the church. Example of composers using canon. Byrd using a plainchant melody used in compline. Vowel match. Tomkins anecdote. Later 16th century London Latin pronunciation.

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