The Solitary City

The Solitary City

Music by Tallis, Byrd and James MacMillan


Saturday 19 March 2022 at 7.30 pm
All Saints Church, Weston Green, Esher, KT10 8JL view map

Conducted by Huw Morgan

This was to have been our concert for March 2020, when the first lockdown began.

One does not need to share in the faith of a composer with religious conviction to be moved by the vividness and intensity of their music to convey the emotion of the sacred texts they set.

In this Ripieno Choir concert we explore settings of prayers of contrition and poetic laments by three deeply devout composers: Renaissance masters Tallis and Byrd, alongside the contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan.

MacMillan’s Miserere, written for The Sixteen in 2009, is reminiscent of Allegri’s much-loved Miserere. It comprises a plainchant foundation with episodes of harmonically rich elaboration, but embellished with a hint of Celtic lilt and distinctive chromatic touches.

Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, perhaps echoing the upheaval of his own time, are amongst his best known and loved works, and contain some of his finest word-painting and most intense harmony. His extended motet for seven voices, Suscipe Quaeso, is equally intense.

These works promise to take the listener on a distinctive spiritual journey, with an evening of serene and contemplative music-making.


Thomas Tallis
Lamentations of Jeremiah
God Grant with Grace
Why Fum’th in Fight
Suscipe Quaeso Domine

William Byrd
Ne Irascaris
Civitas Sancti Tui

James MacMillan
Ave Maris Stella