Saturday, 14 November 2015

Interview with Martin Baker on Chant and Polyphony

It appears in the latest Latin Mass Society journal - do visit their site here for details on obtaining a copy.

Favourite bit: the introduction of the newer rite of the Mass and/or its aftermath being described with typical English understatement as having caused a "wobble" at Westminster Cathedral.

Wanton barbarism

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Armistice Day

It's nice to see that the traditional two minute reflection at 11h00 on 11 November, instituted by King George VI, is still observed, and even in Marks and Spencer an announcement was made encouraging customers to make the observance in the shop.

The other, earlier, Victoria Requiem

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that the souls of Thy sons and daughters in the armed services who have perished in conflicts past, the memory of whom we keep with special reverence, and for whom we are bidden and are bound to pray, may rest in the bosom of Thy saints; and hereafter, in the resurrection from the dead, may please Thee in the land of the living. Through Christ our Lord. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Christmas Choral Music in Sydney

If you are in Sydney remember to get your tickets early to one of the highlights of the year at St Mary's Cathedral - "A Christmas Celebration". Featuring a chamber orchestra there will be glorious music by J. S. Bach, Handel, James MacMillan and John Rutter, as well as traditional Christmas carols that the audience is encouraged to sing with the choir.

A recent photograph of Australia's foremost liturgical choir

Tickets are available by visiting this website. Seating plan is here. What are you waiting for?

Monday, 2 November 2015

All Souls' Eve at Magdalen College, Oxford: Full Faure Requiem

The people thronged to Magdalen College Chapel on a decidedly misty autumn evening in Oxford for the commemoration of All Souls' Eve with Fauré's Requiem accompanied by organ, strings and harp. The choir was in good voice, producing a very natural sound not too dissimilar to that cultivated by George Guest when director at St John's College at The Other Place. Hear for yourself:


FIDÉLIUM Deus, ómnium cónditor et redémptor: animábus famulórum famularúmque tuárum remissiónem cunctórum tríbue peccatórum; ut indulgéntiam, quam semper optavérunt, piis supplicatiónibus consequántur: Qui vivis et regnas ...

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful: grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaidens the remission of all their sins: that through our devout prayers, they may obtain that pardon which they have always desired: Who livest and reignest ...

Before the mist descended

What's this? A rival choir singing Fauré's Requiem

Excuse this little indulgence - but when in Oxford, the best coffee (which is in fact excellent) is to be found at The Missing Bean on Turl St

Friday, 30 October 2015

Monteverdi Vespers at Westminster Cathedral

In a few weeks, after having heard many settings of the Requiem, it may be necessary to reset before Christ the King. What better way than to attend the lavish setting of Vespers by Claudio Monteverdi at Westminster Cathedral on Wednesday 11 November at 19h30?

And here are two videos to whet the appetite: one is a great recent performance under Sir John Eliot Gardiner (in the Versailles Palace Chapel) and the other a documentary about the Vespers, with some fine performances under Harry Christophers.