Thursday, 22 November 2012

Westminster Cathedral Choir sings at Eleventh International Festival of Sacred Music and Art

The Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra held its eleventh Festival in Rome and the Vatican recently, during the course of which visiting choirs and resident ones alike sang at various Masses and concerts.

The Choir of Westminster Cathedral sang at Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, and gave at least one concert.

At the Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the Offertory motet was the glorious eight-part Victoria Ave Maria, with the Choir showing every bit of the rich, continental sound for which they are celebrated.  Indeed, one even has cause to consider whether this might be precisely the sound the Iberian composer had envisaged for his music. 

At communion: 

At the concert the day before in St Mary Major the Choir sang the exhilarating Mawby Ave verum corpus

The programme suggests that this concert was a joint one with the Sistine Chapel Choir, that Choir singing music of the Roman School and the Westminster Cathedral Choir singing music form the British Isles.  The Youtube video suggests that Colin Mawby was directing his own piece.  This might well be the case as I’ve read that he was instrumental in organising the closer collaboration of the London and Vatican choirs.  If he were present, what could have been more fitting than for him to conduct his own composition? 

The Choir had the honour of singing for the Pope as well.