Season 2017-18

John Gibbons conductor

Our 2017-18 concert season begins in October with a joint concert of Russian music with Radlett Choral Society, Hardynge Choir and St Albans Symphony Orchestra, including Rachmaninov’s famous work The Bells.

Music was present in every aspect of life in the Tudor period, particularly at the royal court where the monarch maintained a Chapel Royal of the highly skilled musicians to perform at public and private events and religious worship. In December, we present religious music written in the reigns of Henry VIII, Mary 1, Elizabeth 1 and James 1 by eminent composers such as Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons for church services on Christmas Day.

Our February concert on the theme of farewell and loss contains nineteenth and twentieth century masterpieces by British, French and German composers, including Parry’s Songs of Farewell, a set of six motets written during the First World War as the composer sensed his life was drawing to a close.

In April we present dramatic motets and cantatas written by JS Bach for performance at Easter and Ascension in Leipzig’s principal churches. The programme includes Christ lag in Todes Banden, Bach’s earliest cantata, written when he was just 22.

The season ends with a midsummer celebration of light and love, featuring settings by English composers of religious texts, proverbs and poetry spanning the ages. The centrepiece is Vaughan William’s Epithalamion which uses words written in 1594 by the poet Edmund Spenser.


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Saturday 14 October 2017

St Albans Cathedral 7.30pm 

– St Albans St Cecilia Festival Society Concert – 

Sergei Rachmaninov – The Bells (in English)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture (choral version)

Alexander Borodin – Polovtsian Dances

Dmitri  Shostakovich – October


TICKETS are available from St Albans Cathedral:
• Online at
• From the Cathedral Box Office located in the Gift Shop
(Opening hours 10 am–4.45 pm Monday to Friday,
10 am–3.45 pm on Saturday and 1 pm–5 pm on Sunday;
or telephone 01727 890290 ).

Saturday 9 December 2017

St Peter’s Church 7.30pm 

– A Tudor Christmas –

Thomas Tallis – Missa Puer natus est nobis

Orlando Gibbons – See, see the Word is incarnate

William Byrd – O magnum mysterium

John Sheppard – Verbum caro factum est

Richard Pygott – Quid petis, O fili?

Robert Ramsey – Sleep, fleshly birth

with other works by Byrd and Tallis


Sunday 25 February 2018 – Please note change of date & time

St Peter’s Church 8.00pm

– Songs of Farewell – 

Alfred Desenclos – Messe de Requiem

Hubert Parry – Songs of Farewell

Michael Tippett – Spirituals from A Child of Our Time

Max Reger – Ach, Herr, strafe mich nicht 

Saturday 28 April 2018

St Saviour’s Church 7.30pm 

Festive Bach  – from Passiontide to Ascension 

J S Bach – Christ lag in Todesbanden (BWV 4) 

J S Bach – Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen (BWV 43)

J S Bach – Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß (BWV 134)

Saturday 30 June 2018

St Saviour’s Church 7.30pm

Light and Love – 

Ralph Vaughan Williams – Epithalamion

William Alwyn – Pastoral fantasia for viola and strings

Cecilia McDowall – Ad lucem – a canticle of light

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