Saturday 4 March 2017 at 7.30pm
St Saviour’s Church
St Albans AL1 4DF
Gregorio Allegri Miserere
Antonio Lotti Crucifixus
Antonio Caldara Crucifixus
Giovanni da Palestrina Stabat mater dolorosa
Tomas Luis de Victoria Missa Salve Regina
and works by Orlande de Lassus
with Lynda Sayce lute
conducted by John Gibbons
Choral masterworks for Holy Week and Easter by the principal composers of Renaissance Europe are brought together in this concert.
The legendary Miserere by Gregorio Allegri (c. 1582-1652) with its mixture of plainsong and glorious ornamentation is arguably the most famous piece of music composed for the Sistine Chapel Choir in the Vatican. Transcribing it or performing it elsewhere was prohibited by the Pope on pain of excommunication but the fourteen-year-old Mozart on a visit to Rome in 1770 is said to have written it down from memory and allowed it to be published. Felix Mendelssohn later transcribed it a fourth higher – producing the famous top Cs sung by a soprano soloist – and his version has become one we sing today.
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525-1594) was one of the most prolific and highly acclaimed musicians of the sixteenth century whose work is seen as setting the standard for Renaissance polyphony. The intricate Stabat Mater dolorosa for double choir, also written for the Sistine Chapel, has many changes of rhythm and mood to describe Mary’s suffering at the foot of the Cross.
The Flemish composer Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) spent his early years travelling widely in Italy and his last thirty years working in Munich for the Dukes of Bavaria. His hymn for Easter Morning Aurora lucis rutilat (The dawn glows with rosy light) describes the rejoicing of heaven and earth and the wailing and moaning of hell as the victor Christ surges forth from the grave. Lassus extended this sound world into the Magnificat octavi toni super Aurora lucis rutilat to produce a spectacular display of choral fireworks.
Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548-1611) was born and died in Spain but between 1567 and 1587 lived and worked in Rome. He devoted his life to the church and wrote only sacred music influenced by the Italian style but uniquely Spanish. His beautiful Missa Salve Regina for unaccompanied double choir was written in Madrid in 1592.
The Baroque composers Antonio Lotti (1667-1740) and Antonio Caldara (c.1670-1736) were choristers together at St Mark’s Basilica in Venice and later composed many operas for the royal courts of Italy, Spain and Germany. Their dramatic settings of the Crucifixus from the Credo of the Mass use rising suspensions to create a mood of tension and anguish.
Please join us afterwards for drinks and party nibbles in the church hall
Tickets £15 (£5 child/student)
Tel 07570 454744 or email email@example.com
or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk