Sunday, 10 May 2015

'All Creatures of our God and King'

The paraphrase of St Francis of Assisi's 'Canticle of the Sun' by William Draper, set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and based on a seventeenth century German Easter hymn tune. Sung here by the Choir of Liverpool Cathedral

Saturday, 9 May 2015

For 'Rogation Sunday'

from Enid Chadwick: 'My Book of the Church's Year'

Almighty and everlasting God, 
who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, 
and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: 
pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; 
forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, 
and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask,
 but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.


Humili prece - Litany for the Processions on Rogation Days: Schola Hungarica, Szendrei Janka, Dobszay László

Friday, 8 May 2015

Victory in Europe Day 2015

The day after the General Election, part of the Cenotaph ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.



Morten Lauridsen's Lux Æterna, performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Sinfonia Orchestra, directed by Paul Salamunovich

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Light to end the day ....

T.S. Eliot reading 'O Light Invisible' from his own Choruses from 'The Rock'



And a setting of the chant 'Joyful Light' from the Rachmaninov Vespers 






As we cast our votes ...

"Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find solace in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). As we contemplate the vast amount of work to be done, we are sustained by our faith that God is present alongside those who come together in his name to work for justice. Paul VI recalled in Populorum Progressio that man cannot bring about his own progress unaided, because by himself he cannot establish an authentic humanism. Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God's family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism[157] that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God. Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life — structures, institutions, culture and ethos — without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples, amid successes and failures, in the ceaseless pursuit of a just ordering of human affairs. God's love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of all, even if this cannot be achieved immediately and if what we are able to achieve, alongside political authorities and those working in the field of economics, is always less than we might wish[158]. God gives us the strength to fight and to suffer for love of the common good, because he is our All, our greatest hope."
Benedict XVI: Encyclical Letter, Caritas in Veritate (2009) 6. 78 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Prayers for General Election Day

Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities 
of living in a democratic society.
Give us wisdom to play our part at election time, 
that, through the exercise of each vote, your Kingdom may come closer.
Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, 
guard us against the idols of false utopias 
and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling 
that serves the common good of all.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

[The Church of England, 6th May 2015]


Almighty God, the source of all wisdom: 
direct, we pray thee, the minds of those now called to elect fit persons 
to serve as our representatives in the House of Commons, 
that they may have clear discernment and an earnest desire for the common good; 
this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[The Church in Wales Book of Common Prayer 1984]

'Islamophobia' - yet again

Cranmer has a disturbing post today (by Canon Gavin Ashenden) about the possibility, given a Labour or Labour-led victory in the British General Election tomorrow, of the enactment of a specific law against 'islamophobia.' [here]
One might very well argue that the current law (in fact, a series of statutes, the Public Order Act of 1986, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994 and the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998) is more than sufficient to counter any problems Britain's various minority communities may have in terms of  those who seek to incite hatred or violence against them. 

However, to elevate one specific religion (indeed, in the contemporary world, a faith whose more vocal and extreme adherents are noted for encouraging and inflicting violence against others rather than for their vulnerable peaceability) as deserving a special protection over and above other faiths would be a singularly retrograde step, and would, without any doubt, be used by some more 'radical' followers of Mohammed, and their fellow-travellers, to attempt to restrict free speech and even disinterested (in its correct sense) historical scholarship and research in a country which, largely due to its Christian heritage, has until now rightly prided itself on the rule of law and the protection of the liberty of speech, thought, and association of its citizens.

Of course, politicians are notorious for making promises whilst standing for election which they have no intention of honouring when in office; however, the very fact that such a commitment seems to have been made, is a disturbing sign that many of our political leaders are so captive to a now largely discredited ideology of multiculturalism that they fail to understand the very nature of law and liberty. Far from being an enrichment of our society's well-deserved reputation for hospitality and tolerance, the passing of an anti-islamophobia law would constitute a considerable impoverishment of our political, religious and intellectual culture. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Lord is My Shepherd

For 'Good Shepherd Sunday,' an English version of Dvorak's setting of verses from Psalm 23, 'The Lord is my Shepherd' (Hospodin jest muj pastyr): a recording from 1969 by Guildford Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Barry Rose.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

What if ....

The 'what ifs' of history are a perennial source of fascination, a realm in which we can allow our imaginations to roam free and imagine only the best of possible outcomes.

The Catholic Herald is the latest to have a stab at this with Dominic Selwood's nostalgic  article, 'What Catholic England would look like today.' [here
It's a beguiling picture for many of us and, undoubtedly, the artistic, cultural, architectural and ecclesiastical   heritage of England and Wales would have been greatly enriched had the tragic iconoclasm and theological negation of the sixteenth century not taken place. 
Of course, one might also, with the Anglo-Catholic romantics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, speculate about the possibility of Henry VIII's outliving his son, Edward, and frustrating the influence of those 'continental' reformers who were to have such a destructive influence over our culture and our Church. 
What if Queen Mary Tudor and Cardinal Pole had lived longer and had listened to wiser counsels?
We could continue our flight of fancy by imagining the successful result of the putative re-union between Rome and Canterbury under King Charles I, in which certain 'reformation' insights were left intact whilst restoring the fractured link with the Apostolic See of Rome.
And, much closer to our own time, we could even consider a successful conclusion to the 'ARCIC' dialogue - but let's not go there, the wounds are far too recent.

And yet .... France, the eldest daughter of the Church, was scarred by its own religious wars in the same period, and both France herself in the late eighteenth century, and Spain, the home of the Catholic Monarchs,  in the twentieth, experienced bloody atheistic revolutions and civil war which the absence of  a triumphant religious reformation did nothing to prevent. Who can calculate the human consequences of what is, compared to what might have been?

History above all is a done deal, who can say what could have happened? What if Byzantium had never fallen to the Ottoman Turks? Now there's a thought ....

Miniatur (einer Seelenreise)

Something a little different - 'Miniatur (einer Seelenreise)' : Markus Stockhausen
Performed here by the composer and the Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Lucerne Festival in the summer of 2011

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Mid-week blues

A report here from France 24 about a foiled Islamist terror attack on Christian churches in Paris (indications at present seem to be of a rogue 'radicalised' individual with possible Syrian back-up rather than a local network ) 
"French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday said “terrorists are targeting France to divide us” but that the country was “determined to stay united”.
Valls visited two churches in Villejuif that were the apparent focus of the foiled plot. He said the suspect planned to target "the Christians, the Catholics of France".
"To target a church is to target a symbol of France, the very essence of France," the prime minister said, adding that this was “the first time” Christians were specifically targeted by suspected jihadists in France.
Valls said his government would take appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of worshippers and church visitors.
“France has an exceptional Christian heritage – its cathedrals, churches and chapels attract tourists and pilgrims,” he said. “This heritage must be protected but also remain open.”
Word of mouth reports emanating from the last meeting of the Church in Wales' Governing Body  have hinted at more than the usual ghastly treatment meted out to those possessing anything approaching traditional views.  They seem to be confirmed by this report from Ancient Briton.
It's instructive, too, that what seems to excite many of the clergy representatives on that august synod is a potential hit to their bank accounts, rather than the ever-accelerating retreat from orthodoxy and apostolicity...
As for Wales now being described theologically (in a throw-away line from the commentators of Anglican Unscripted) as numbered among "the hard left," we should possibly avoid the tombs of previous Welsh diocesans unless we are the possessors of a firm sense of balance and a set of industrial earmuffs.
Wales, the ecclesial equivalent of Orwell's Airstrip One in a world perpetually at war .... ironically, no female bishops appointed yet, however ....

Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate has a typically (and waspishly) erudite piece about the hasty evolution of the modern Roman rite's 'Hippolytan' Eucharistic Prayer II, un"oeuvre d’un trio de maniaques”... [here]
However, compare it to most (if not all) 'modern' Anglican eucharistic prayers (usually approved after a slower and bloodier process of theological horse-trading) and it actually seems rather good...

And, before we get too carried away with the costumes -  from First Things, a couple of articles [here and here] on the en vogue literary / historical  revisionism which is the dramatisation of Hilary Mantel'Wolf Hall (currently screening in the USA) What a lovely modern character her Master Cromwell is, much like the author herself, "one of nature’s Protestants." 
I look forward in a few years to seeing the box sets 'remaindered' in my local garden centre...

Monday, 20 April 2015

The Libyan migrant tragedy

As the tragedy of "illegal migrants" fleeing Libya unfolds in the Mediterranean, it is time, perhaps, for the British Government to admit its own share of responsibility, not only for refusing its backing to a successor to the Italian 'Mare Nostrum'  search and rescue programme, withdrawn last year because of a lack of international support, but for its prior role with France and the USA in the destruction of any recognisable governmental authority within Libya itself. 
Can any rational, responsible exercise of foreign policy include the destruction of one (admittedly abhorrent and tyrannical) regime and its replacement with a situation of complete anarchy? The result, as we know, has been the abandonment of the people of Libya to the ruthless violence of competing militias, the spread into North Africa of the barbarians of ISIS, and the terrible fate we now now see befalling those trying to leave the social and economic chaos behind them. 
The naivety of contemporary western politicians beggars belief in that, encouraged by an increasingly emotive international mass media, they have repeatedly assumed, in the aftermath of the so-called 'Arab Spring,' that 'democracy' can be fashioned ex nihilo in regions with little or no tradition of the rule of law, respect for the rights of minorities,  an independent judiciary and freedom of speech.

Undoubtedly, the immediate blame for the rising death toll lies with the human traffickers who are exploiting the would-be migrants in their attempts to reach mainland Europe, yet those who had a hand in creating the conditions which have led to this cannot themselves escape a very large share of moral responsibility. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly said that we owe a duty of charity to those who are suffering. One might hope that a number of wealthy, oil-rich Islamic states in the Middle East, and their religious leaders, might come forward with similarly compassionate and merciful sentiments and offers of asylum and practical help to their co-religionists.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Not exactly Turkish delight - a few news items of interest

The Turkish Government's  attack on Pope Francis for cleverly merely quoting Pope St John Paul II about the reality of the Armenian genocide seems to have backfired spectacularly [here] 
Now, of course, everyone, rightly,  is talking about the subject ...
Turkey, however, has an increasingly ambivalent attitude towards its Ottoman past. The aggressive secularism of the modern (post-Ataturk) Turkish State is being toned down considerably due to the resurgence of political Islam. A recent symptom of this is the first recitation of the Koran in Hagia Sophia for 85 years [see here] - something unimaginable only a few years ago and somewhat revealingly insensitive given the desperate plight of non-Muslims in the wider region.. 
Over the years the Turkish record (under democratic or military rule)  on human rights and freedom of speech is not a particularly proud one, nor is its largely uncondemned attempt to eradicate archeological evidence of Asia Minor's Roman / Byzantine and Armenian,  Christian past.
Perhaps our own politicians should think more than twice before advocating, as they are even now,  closer ties between Turkey and the E.U.
"...It is the responsibility not only of the Armenian people and the universal Church to recall all that has taken place, but of the entire human family, so that the warnings from this tragedy will protect us from falling into a similar horror, which offends against God and human dignity. Today too, in fact, these conflicts at times degenerate into unjustifiable violence, stirred up by exploiting ethnic and religious differences. All who are Heads of State and of International Organizations are called to oppose such crimes with a firm sense of duty, without ceding to ambiguity or compromise...."   
[The full text of the Pope's address can be found here]

We should also be glad that the BBC has finally woken up to what is happening to the Christians of the Middle East in our own time.  A good programme [link here]  by Jane Corbin investigates the heart-breaking reality.

The death, after a courageous battle with cancer, of the American Cardinal Francis George [an appreciation here] highlights the contemporary lack of intellectual ballast in the modern Church (ecclesial bodies of all traditions). He is, of course, remembered here mostly for his remarks about the likely fate of his successors:
"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

Closer to home, in the run up to the General Election, the Archbishop of Wales urges us [full address here] to cast our votes (as the Church in Wales website puts it) for 'the common good.' 
Most of what Dr Morgan says about Christian concern for the poor and vulnerable in society probably needs to be said more often - if from a more non-tribal standpoint: his references are telling in this regard -  but, and, most importantly, the precise ways in which we can identify and work towards that common good, is a rather more contested subject (both in the Church and in political life) than the Archbishop's Governing Body address seems to credit.

And back to the BBC; there was an interesting radio programme [here]  which, as well as a (determinedly non-theological) attempt to define 'the good life,'  included a piece about the way our politicians and their advisors use language more to disguise rather than illuminate. An abuse of the gift of speech most certainly: it's no wonder the electorate remains so obdurately cynical ...

As to the important issue as to who can we now vote for, Deacon Nick Donnelly [here], from a traditionalist Roman Catholic standpoint,  poses some important questions for all of us: 
"....I consider voting at a General Election to be a solemn and binding duty on every citizen because countless men and women have given their lives to protect our freedom as a democracy. But what do Christians do when all the political parties advocate a whole variety of policies that we consider immoral? I’m sure I’m not the only one to conclude that no political party at this General Election represents our moral world view as a Christians...."
It would also seem that the Greens are now the real 'nasty party' [here] with  its less than articulate leader backing a complete economic, cultural and artistic boycott of the State of Israel, for all its many faults, the only recognisable democratic state in the Middle East.
As 'greenness' (as opposed to responsible, orthodox, Christian stewardship of the natural world) seems to be highly fashionable at the moment, at least among our 'opinion-formers,'  here is a review of 'The Green Bible' (foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu) - yes, really,  you couldn't make it up - I can't resist posting this excerpt from the article: 
"...Still more ill judged is the over-egging of the rhetorical pudding. The project website tells us that “with over 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, the Bible carries a powerful message for the earth.” I am not sure what to make of this argumentum ad arithmeticum, unless the point is that the earth is approximately 1.88 times more important to God than love and 2.04 times more important than heaven. Based on my own research into this topic and following the same method, I am prepared to say that the earth is 7.04 times more important to God than donkeys (which are mentioned 142 times in the Bible).  
The Green Bible presents us with a curious kind of natural theology: We start with things we know to be true from trusted sources—Al Gore, perhaps?—and then we turn to Scripture to measure it against those preexisting and reliable authorities. And what a relief to discover that God is green. Because we already know that it’s good to be green—what we didn’t know is whether God measures up to that standard..."













Monday, 30 March 2015

Abraham and Isaac: Benjamin Britten

Canticle II by Benjamin Britten: Abraham and Isaac - a setting of texts from the Chester Mystery Plays:

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The bias of our broadcasters - the BBC - again

My apologies for yet another post about the BBC, but as one who has very fond childhood and teenage memories of BBC radio particularly (television was another story, but mainly because we lived in the middle of a wood underneath a mountain: television pictures resembled at best a blizzard and at worst an alpine white-out) the Corporation's departure from anything approaching balance, much less impartiality, on so many issues, is becoming now not so much a national scandal as a threat to liberty itself.
Those of us who might be called moderately socially conservative, traditionalist in religion without falling into the profoundly unorthodox trap of fundamentalism, and who are politically on the socially responsible, somewhat 'Cobbettian,' right, have experienced to our cost this barely hidden BBC agenda with its relentless promotion of issues such as women's ordination and same-sex 'marriage,' and a general and deeply embedded institutional bias to the adolescently 'transgressive' and destructive in cultural terms and to the unthinkingly 'liberal- left' in politics.
The latest 'progressive' causes to be promoted include the uncritical acceptance of highly controversial interpretations of those curiously related threats to individual freedom - indeed, freedom of thought itself - 'homophobia' and 'islamophobia,' not to mention an increasing evident editorial line in favour of those pressing, often in highly emotive, selective and misleading terms, for the legalisation of assisted suicide. At times, it seems there is no part of the 'Judeo-Christian' heritage which the programme makers and news editors of the BBC do not seek to undermine and discredit.
The BBC has a very proud past, and many and diverse achievements to its credit, but there has been for some time evidence of an ever growing tendency to use its editorial judgement, not only to report events, but to influence and manipulate them. That this 'Guardianisation,' as it has been described, is funded, in effect compulsorily out of taxation, by the licence-payer, should be a matter of deep concern to all who value free debate and access to a wide range of opinion and balanced information. 
There are those, of course, who would wish to destroy the BBC in favour of a rampant, populist commercialism in broadcasting which would be, if anything, even worse than the existing situation. However, unless the BBC shows a willingness even to recognise that a problem exists, and to begin to set its own house in order, for the greater good of our national cultural and political life, that would seem to be the almost inevitable outcome.
This is Andrew Bridgen M.P., writing in The Telegraph [here]:
"...The BBC has a budget more than double the size of the Foreign Office – and is an empire of an organisation. I believe serious questions must be put to the BBC at Charter Renewal about their agenda and their transparency.This must be done without fear of its monolithic PR machine, which wields so much power. “Auntie”, as she was once affectionately known, is no longer with us. Instead we are faced with one of the last vestiges of corporatism, a leviathan that seeks to change our national culture and which holds even our highest elected representatives in contempt. The BBC has shown it is willing to ride roughshod over our democratic processes, so it must be tackled..."


Monday, 16 March 2015

Politics without vision - and a defence of trees

With the British General Election looming, before early May we will be hard pressed not to be overwhelmed (or should we say underwhelmed?)  with the sight and sound of our politicians disagreeing about inessentials. Perhaps our disillusionment stems from the fact that managerialism lacks any vision with which to captivate, inspire and enthuse..
More and more one sympathises with these words of G.K. Chesterton: 
“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types -- the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”  
Chesterton was right about many things, including the startling absence of real conservatives  - that is, those who believe there may be anything really worthy of conserving - for its own sake rather than for its monetary value or its utility for the modern economy; and those who now call themselves 'socialists' are first in line to promote the atomisation and infantilisation of civil society into ever smaller, warring interest groups, ever more dependent upon the State to the detriment of family and community.
How far this lack of true vision and the resulting apathy about civic life, particularly among the young, are connected with the decline of the Christian ethic in our western societies is open to debate, but we should take to heart these words from one who has a strong claim to be the greatest theological thinker of our day: 
"...This country’s Parliamentary tradition owes much to the national instinct for moderation, to the desire to achieve a genuine balance between the legitimate claims of government and the rights of those subject to it. While decisive steps have been taken at several points in your history to place limits on the exercise of power, the nation’s political institutions have been able to evolve with a remarkable degree of stability. In the process, Britain has emerged as a pluralist democracy which places great value on freedom of speech, freedom of political affiliation and respect for the rule of law, with a strong sense of the individual’s rights and duties, and of the equality of all citizens before the law. While couched in different language, Catholic social teaching has much in common with this approach, in its overriding concern to safeguard the unique dignity of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and in its emphasis on the duty of civil authority to foster the common good. And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident - herein lies the real challenge for democracy  
The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world. Just as “every economic decision has a moral consequence” (Caritas in Veritate, 37), so too in the political field, the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can afford to ignore..."  Pope Benedict XVI: 2010 Westminster Hall address.
And a word in support of something more enduring than contemporary politics - a defence of trees, firstly and briefly from Peter Hitchens and, secondly, a longer passage from the naturalist and conservationist, Roger Deakin:
"What is the reason for our hatred of trees? Local councils love nothing better than murdering lovely old trees in case they fall down all of a sudden.I now see that the French government plans to massacre thousands of roadside trees because cars often collide with them.
I assume this is because the trees get drunk, rush out into the traffic and steer themselves into the cars." [here]
 
"....To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed. It is no accident that in the comedies of Shakespeare, people go into the greenwood to grow, learn and change. It is where you travel to find yourself, often, paradoxically, by getting lost. It is no accident that in the comedies of Shakespeare, people go into the greenwood to grow, learn and change. It is where you travel to find yourself, often, paradoxically, by getting lost. Merlin sends the future King Arthur as a boy into the greenwood to fend for himself in The Sword in the Stone. There, he falls asleep and dreams himself, like a chameleon, into the lives of the animals and the trees. In As You Like It, the banished Duke Senior goes to live in the Forest of Arden like Robin Hood, and in Midsummer Night’s Dream the magical metamorphosis of the lovers takes place in a wood ‘outside Athens’ that is quite obviously an English wood, full of the faeries and Robin Goodfellows of our folklore.
....Human begins depend on trees quite as much as on rivers and the sea. Our intimate relationship with trees is physical as well as cultural and spiritual: literally an exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen. Once inside a wood, you walk on something very like the seabed, looking up at the canopy of leaves as if it were the surface of the water, filtering the descending shafts of sunlight and dappling everything. Woods have their own rich ecology, and their own people, woodlanders, living and working in and around them. A tree itself is a river of sap: through roots that wave about underwater like sea anemones, the willow pollard at one end of the moat where I swim in Suffolk draws gallons of water into the leaf-tips of its topmost branches every day; released as vapour into the summer air, this water then rises invisibly to join the clouds, and the falling raindrops ripple out into every tree ring."   
Roger Deakin 'Wildwood' 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Pilgrimage to Santiago: John Eliot Gardiner

The Monteverdi Choir, directed by John Eliot Gardiner, sing music from Spain's golden age ..