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.
Sergei Rachmaninov – The Bells (in English)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture (choral version)
Alexander Borodin – Polovtsian Dances
TICKETS are available from St Albans Cathedral:
• Online at www.stalbanscathedral.org/whatson
• 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 ).
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
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
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)
Ralph Vaughan Williams – Epithalamion
William Alwyn – Pastoral fantasia for viola and strings
Cecilia McDowall – Ad lucem – a canticle of light