At The Round Earth’s Imagined Corners

Saturday 16 June 7.30pm
All Saints′ Church, Weston Green, Esher, Surrey KT10 8JL (view map)
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Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918) may be most famous for having composed Jerusalem and the Coronation Anthem I was glad (and for being the teacher of Vaughan Williams, Holst, Ireland and Bridge) but his noble Songs of Farewell are a persuasive reminder of his significant contribution to the English choral tradition.

This collection was one of his last compositions and an obvious choice for a programme celebrating his achievements 100 years after his death (in the Spanish ‘flu’ epidemic of Autumn 1918). The six ‘songs’ are almost a musical summation of his compositional life and reflect Parry’s love of English madrigals and partsongs. Steadily increasing in length, complexity of choral texture (growing from four parts to eight) and emotional fervour – setting fine words by (among others) Thomas Campion, John Donne and from the psalms – the set has an intensity and power considerably greater than the sum of its six individual parts.

And Parry’s Music, when soft voices die is a long-standing Ripieno Choir favourite.

Parry’s six ‘motets’ (for thus he or his publisher described them) are complemented by six motets by Renaissance masters. All Saints, Weston Green, became our performing home twenty years ago and we shall mark the occasion with music for the Feast of All Saints from Byrd’s Gradualia – which is scintillating even by his exalted standards. Byrd’s Spanish contemporary, Victoria, is likewise on sublime form with his Salve Regina and Regina coeli. However, his luxuriant eight-part writing is thrown into high relief by the often stark, simplicity of Josquin’s four-part masterpiece, Ave Maria – the first piece in the first-ever publication of such music (1502).

We are also excited to present the first performance of Adam Ockelford’s skilful arrangement of the traditional Scottish ballad Barbara Allen. Those who know their Wagner will recognise the musical fragments from which the accompanying voices are constructed and also their appropriateness. Non-Wagner fans need not worry though: the whole effect creates a beautiful song.

The full programme is:

Hubert ParryMusic, when soft voices die
Adam OckelfordBarbara Allen
William ByrdMotets for the Feast of All Saints
Gaudeamus omnes
Justorum animae
Timete Dominum
Hubert ParrySongs of Farewell
My soul, there is a country
I know my soul hath power to know all things
Never weather-beaten sail
There is an old belief
At the round earth’s imagined corners
Lord, let me know mine end
Tomás Luis de VictoriaSalve Regina a8
Josquin DesprezAve Maria
Tomás Luis de VictoriaRegina coeli laetare a8

£16 in advance, £18 on the door.
£5 for under 18s
Group discounts are available – please contact box office for more information.

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