Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Long Melford concert 19 Nov 2017

Sunday 19 November, 7:30pm

Programme includes:
Victoria: Missa Laetatus Sum for three choirs
Josquin and Gombert: Mille regretz
Lobo: Versa est in luctum
Guerrero: Ave virgo sanctissima
Heinrich Isaac, Virgo prudentissima

With I Musici Della Contessa, a six-part renaissance instrumental ensemble, comprising two cornetts, three sackbuts and curtal.

Tickets available online from the Theatre Royal Box Office in Bury St Edmunds.

Five hundred years ago, in 1517 in Vienna, the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I was in mourning at the death of the court composer, Heinrich Isaac. He had served the court of the most powerful family in Europe since 1503, after a distinguished career as singer and composer mainly in Innsbruck and Florence. Our modern day equivalent for Isaac would be a composer-laureate, commissioned to write for special occasions, and in this he excelled.

Virgo Prudentissima is an extraordinary work, which typifies Isaac’s ability to compose on demand. It was composed for the Reichstag meeting in 1507 which confirmed Maximilian’s role as Emperor. Set for six parts, it involves intricate solo passages interspersed with massive, resonant choruses.

Victoria’s Missa Laetatus Sum, which he published in 1600, is an impressive work for three choirs, inspired by the Italian style he encountered when living in Rome. It is based on his own setting of the psalm Laetatus sum, (I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord). It’s very likely that a combination of voices and instruments would have been deployed for a piece of this scale.

Also composing for the Spanish court were Alonso Lobo and Francisco Guerrero. Lobo’s motet Versa est in luctum (My harp is turned to mourning) was written for the funeral of Philip II in 1598. Guerrero worked for a time for Maximillian II, and his motet Ave virgo, in which the two soprano lines follow eachother in canon throughout, became one of the most famous works of the succeeding century.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Waltham Abbey, 7 October

There's a chance to hear the choir sing a short lunchtime concert at Tallis's church, Waltham Abbey, on 7th October.

We'll be singing a selection of music by the foremost English composers of the Tudor era, Tallis's legacy, and finish off with some music from the Stuart age before and after the Commonwealth.

12.30 Free of charge.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Long Melford this November

We are delighted to return to Long Melford in November, and will perform Victoria's Missa Laetatus Sum for three choirs, motets by Josquin and Morales, and the magnificent celebratory work by Heinrich Isaac, Virgo Prudentissima.

We will be joined by I Musici Della Contessa, a six-part renaissance instrumental ensemble, comprising two cornetts, three sackbuts and curtal.

Tickets available online from the Theatre Royal Box Office in Bury St Edmunds.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Sherborne Abbey, 20 May 2017

Cambridge Renaissance Voices join forces with the viol consort Concordia in the glorious setting of Sherborne Abbey, to explore a rich repertoire of English music from the 17th century.

Tickets available online or call 01935 815341.

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This was the golden age of consort music, where voices and viols were used interchangeably or together. Viol consorts were central to domestic music-making, in part- songs or madrigals equally suited to string players or singers.

A parallel tradition developed in relation to church music; for over a hundred years, English composers explored the fascination of vocally inspired instrumental polyphony by writing ‘In nomines’ for viol consort, weaving elaborate instrumental lines around a musical theme taken from the Tudor composer John Taverner’s mass on the plainchant ‘Gloria Tibi Trinitas’.

Voices and viols came together in the verse anthem, whose greatest Jacobean exponents included Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Tomkins. The music of Henry Purcell represents in many ways the culmination of this rich tradition. While his anthems straddle the musical styles of the late Renaissance and a more dramatic idiom signalling the early Baroque, Purcell’s viol Fantasias look back to an earlier age, bringing to an old instrumental form a dazzling complexity and musical beauty.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Long Melford concert | 20 Nov 2016

Booking is now open for our return visit to the immense and beautiful Suffolk church of Holy Trinity, which takes place at 7:30pm on Sunday 20th November. Click here for the Box Office.

The programme is a tour of joyful music of sixteenth century Europe, celebrating Mary as Queen of Heaven, with settings of the texts "Regina coeli laetare', 'Ave Regina coelorum' and 'Benedicta es coelorum regina'. Along with motets by Josquin, Guerrero, Lobo and Gabrieli, we will perform an extraordinary and unjustly forgotten mass by the Flemish composer Philippe de Monte, who befriended William Byrd on a visit to England and was one of the most influential musicians of his generation. The music of the mass is based on a then famous motet by Josquin, which will also be performed, as well as the plainchant for each of the texts. There is a buoyancy and vigour about all of this music, and also great contrapuntal invention.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Forthcoming concerts

We are delighted to be returning to Holy Trinity, Long Melford, on Sunday 20th November, 2016. This concert will feature the exciting six-part 'Benedicta Es' mass by Phillipe de Monte (1521-1603),

Booking will be open in the autumn.

Looking further ahead to 2017, the choir is planning to perform in the magnificent Abbey at Sherborne. Further details will be available soon.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Boxgrove concert 7 May 2016

Life, Death and Redemption in Tudor England 
Sheppard’s Media Vita and motets by Tallis, Byrd, Mundy and Parsons
Directed by Rupert Preston Bell
Saturday 7th May 2016, 7.30pm at Boxgrove Priory

Ticket information / Box office

Much of the great devotional music of the English Renaissance illustrates the paradox that the bleakest liturgical texts often inspired the most glorious compositions of the period. John Sheppard’s Media Vita weaves some of the most serenely beautiful lines of English polyphony out of the despairing words later adopted for the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer: ‘In the midst of life we are in death’.

Sheppard’s masterpiece forms the centre of a programme of Tudor music ideally suited to the atmospheric acoustic of Boxgrove Priory. This repertoire is the musical heartland of Cambridge Renaissance Voices, hailed by Early Music Review for performances that are ‘assured and expressive… achingly beautiful’, combining ‘understanding and passion’ in their recreation of the golden age of sacred music.

Boxgrove Priory is an exquisite and ancient building, three miles from Chichester, postcode PO18 0ED, website