8 singers great bass viol, organ
Bach: Singet dem Hern ien neues Lied, Komm Jesu komm, Der Geist hilft unsre Schwachheit auf
Schütz: Deutsches Magnificat, Ich weiss, dass mein Erlöser lebet, Eile mich, Gott zu erretten
'A feast of vocal concertos' Bach's great motets embedded in a sequence of Lutheran church music with motets and solo concertos by Schütz and unaccompanied chorales and organ preludes.
BACH - St Matthew Passion
8 singers, 11-21 strings, 8 woodwind, 2 harpsichords (opt), 2 organs
A conductor-less rendition of the Bach Passion in which all soloists step out of the 8-voice chorus
BACH - St John Passion
8 singers, 5-15 strings, 5-6 woodwind, theorbo (opt.), harpsichord (opt.), organ
A conductor-less rendition of the Bach Passion in which all soloists step out of the 8-voice chorus. All four known versions possible.
SCHÜTZ - Musikalische Exequien & St John Passion
8-16 singers, theorbo,viola da gamba, organ
Schütz’s powerful and fervent requiem mass, set in his typical exuberant and ’literal’ manner, and incorporating Italianate ‘cori spezzati’ and ‘echo’ style. Preceded by his starkly powerful unaccompanied John Passion.
RITES OF SPRING
8 singers great bass viol, organ
Schütz: Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, Das ist je gewisslich wahr
Sweelink: Mon Dieu j'ay en toy esperance, Le toutpuissant á mon Seigneur et maistre
Le Jeune: Le Printimps
A musical contemplation on the season of spring with music by Schütz, Sweelinck, Le Jeune and others, blending texts from sacred and secular sources. The programme takes us through an "impromptu ritual" in which motets and hymnody are complemented by songs and madrigals
LE BIEN QUE J’AY CONQUIS
6 singers, 6 viols (opt.)
Mann: Umbra Sumus (Spitalfields Festival commission, 2003)
Goudimel: Missa ‘Le bien que j’ay par foy d’amour conquis’, Estans assis aux rives aquatiques (Ps. 137)
De l’Estocart: Quel monstre voy-je là?, J’ay vu, que la monde est un songe, C’est folie et vanité
Le Jeune: Brunelette, Francine, Or velecy beau may, Baize ce pauvre amoureux
Chansons and mass movements focus on the exile of Huguenots in 16th century London, as symbolised by Psalm 137 (By the rivers of Babylon) with its line in the 2nd verse ‘How do we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land’. The centrepiece is Terry Mann’s ‘Umbra Sumus’, commisioned for the Spitalfields Festival 2003, which calls up ‘shadows’ of Huguenots in England: ‘shadows of our past’, or ‘shadows of our origin’. The underlying theme of the programme is taken from Arcadelt’s chanson ‘Le bien que j’ay par foy d’amour conquis’, though it appears only in ‘shadow-form’, as the basis of the mass of the same name. It expresses gratitude with an overtone of longing for ‘the good I have acquired by faith... and left behind in the homeland.Cynical poetry on the vanity of the world, set by De l’Estocart in his ‘Octonaires’ combine with love songs in their expression of the despair, longing and hope of a displaced people, and culminate in Le Jeune’s sumptuous love/adoration song ‘Francine’. A symbol of the France the huguenots had left behind?
A MEETING OF MINDS
De Monte: Advenit ignis divinus, Ad te, Domine, levavi animam, Super flumina Babylonis
Clemens non papa: Ego Flos Campi
Byrd: Quomodo Cantabimus, Laetentur coeli, Ad Dominum cum tribularer
Tallis: Loquebantur variis linguis
The famous exchange of musical writing between De Monte and Byrd is fleshed out in a programme of two parts: music in the franco-flemish/continental style by De Monte is ‘answered’ by that of Byrd. The contrast is brought to a head in the middle with De Monte’s ‘Super flumina Babylonis’ placed opposite Byrd’s ‘Quomodo cantabimus’. Both pieces set (parts of) Psalm 137 evoking the theme of a people in exile, resonating with Byrd’s “exile” as a Catholic in a protestant country. This exile theme is complemented by the Pentecostal theme of Psalm 104, running throughout the programme and expressing the power, momentum and diversity of divine creation, diversity also represented by the difference of styles of our two composers.
PSALMS, SONGS AND SUNDRIE NATURES
8 singers, 8 renaissance brass (opt.), theorbo, organ
Byrd: Quomodo cantabimus, Atollite portas, Though Amaryllis dance in green, Ave verum
Gibbons: The record of John, The silver swan, 0 clap your hands
A new alternative to the traditional "anglicanism" associated with this repertoire, including the restoration of much of the music's original scoring: a sequence of familiar and little-known Tudor music which takes us on a tour of the church year and its accompanying seasons. Lamentations, anthems, motets and secular madrigals by Byrd, Tallis and Gibbons with optional brass instruments, which can be employed in accordance with evidence from the archives of Durham Cathedral.
CHRISTMAS BY TALLIS
Tallis: Missa ‘Puer natus est’, Videte miraculum, O sacrum convivium, Suscipe quaeso
Pygott: Quid petis, O fili
Henry VIII: Pastime with good company
A Christmas 'banquet', which centres on the mass by Thomas Tallis. The Christmas references are embodied by the creative power of Tallis, and in this artistic ‘feast’ some of his finest music is offset by other banquet songs heard at the Royal Court, with ‘O sacrum convivium’ acting as the ‘grace’.
NEWE TEUTSCHE LIEDER
Lechner: Deutsche Sprüche vom Leben und Tod, Die schön Atlanta kam, Missa ‘Domine Dominus noster’
Hassler: Ach weh des Leiden, Mir träumt in einer Nacht gar spat
Lassus: Domine Dominus noster, Regina Coeli, Ich hab dich lieb, Christus Resurgens
This sequence of motets and madrigals focuses on Psalm 8 (Domine Dominus Noster), which depicts as the ‘Glory of God’ the beauty and diversity of the universe. Lechner’s ‘Deutsche Sprüche’, a poetic statement of faith, and the mass, based on Lassus’ motet setting of Psalm 8, form the framework within which the songs and other motets are various expressions of the underlying ‘power of creation’.
A SPANISH MASS - MILLE REGRETZ
6-18 singers, 6 renaissance brass (opt.), organ, harp
Josquin: Mille regretz
Morales: Missa ‘Mille regretz’, O sacrum convivium
Guerrero: Ave virgo sanctissima, Tota pulchra es, Vamos al portal
‘The Sacrament of Desire’ The beautiful 6-part Missa ‘Mille Regretz’ by Morales, complemented by Marian antiphons by Guerrero, and spiritual songs and villançicos. A programme that relates human longing after a loved one to the spiritual fervour and devotion towards Mary the virgin. Cornetts and sackbuts are added to enhance the sumptuous musical fabric.