Category Archives: my favorite music

Monteverdi, “Deposuit potentes” (He has put down the mighty)





From Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 — in a live performance (which I attended last winter) by Tenet Vocal Artists. A marvelous performance.

Music to uplift us. Monteverdi: pathos, beauty, intense spirituality.




posted by Roger W. Smith

   September 2020


Schubert, “Et incarnatus est”






I have been trying to occasionally post music that I find especially appropriate for these trying times. Posted above is the “Et incarnatus est” from Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat major, performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.



— Roger W. Smith

   August 2020



Addendum: This music needs no comment. But, I can’t resist saying that it is very Schubertian — or, to put it another way, only Schubert could have written such a piece: sacred in this case, but stamped with the intense feeling and warmth of his impromptus, say,  and other piano pieces.


more consolatory music




Mozart, Ave verum corpus (Hail, true body), K. 618, a motet in D major, composed in 1791.

Posted here as befitting the times; and in loving memory of my father, Alan Wright Smith, a church organist, who had a particular affection for this piece.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   May 2020







Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.



Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
having truly suffered, sacrificed
on the cross for mankind,
from whose pierced side
water and blood flowed:
Be for us a foretaste [of the Heavenly banquet]
in the trial of death!

I hope this music brings peace.




Anne Sofie Von Otter

“Like an Angel Passing Though My Room”







The sadness I often feel now — today and many other days — is palpable, physically.
For many reasons. Including the obvious ones, meaning what we are all going through.

Roger W. Smith

   May 2020

more music for this time (May 2020)






Philip Glass, String Quartet No. 4 (“Buczak”)

last movement


For more about this quartet, see my previous post at

— posted by Roger W. Smith

Pergolisi,”Stabat Mater Dolorosa”






Pergolesi, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”



the first movement from by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater



I have been seeking music that is right for this moment; that consoles and comforts, that is not too “energetic” for this time and yet that is artistically exquisite and deeply felt



posted by Roger W. Smith

    April 2020


more consolatory music







Consummatum est!


from The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross




— posted by Roger W. Smith

   April 2020

Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (music for now)






Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder (We sit down in tears)



Final chorus, Johann Sebastian Bach, Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion)




— posted by Roger W. Smith

   April 2020


“Ar ne kuth” II


Regarding my recent post “Ar ne kuth”



Tenet Vocal artists has put the entire concert online at:




The link will take you to the entire concert on YouTube. Click on the three bars on the top right. Then scroll down to select number 7, “Ar ne kuth” — to hear that piece sung by  soprano Jolle Greenleaf. Or you can just listen to and enjoy the entire, fantastic concert.



Roger W. Smith

   April 2020





emails, March 23, 2020


Dear Jolle,


Tenet is a precious resource.

I am thankful that living in NYC gives me the opportunity to attend concerts such as Monteverdi’s Vespers in December (which I had always wanted to hear performed live) and English renaissance vocal music at the Strand.

I sometimes blog about music (I am not a performer or musicologist).

In a recent post of mine at


I wrote: “I heard this medieval song [“A ne kuth”] performed by soprano Jolle Greenleaf (her voice is incredible and virtually indescribable) in a concert of English medieval music by Tenet Vocal Artists at the Rare Book Room of the Strand Bookstore on February 13, 2020.

Thanks again.


Roger Smith



Hi Roger,

It’s so gratifying to read this — thank you so much! I’m grateful you were able to catch our last Vespers, and that you were with us at the Strand. What a wonderful night that was! I’m honored by your kind words – your blog is so important. Thank you for your work on that!


Very gratefully,

Jolle Greenleaf