The Ripieno Choir | At the round earth's imagined corners
16 Jun 2018
All Saints Weston
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s (1848-1918) noble Songs of Farewell are a persuasive reminder of his significant contribution to the English choral tradition. The six ‘songs’ are a musical summation of his compositional life, reflecting his 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.
Parry’s six ‘motets’ (for thus he or his publisher described them) are complemented by six motets by Renaissance masters. We celebrate twenty years of Ripieno concerts at All Saints, Weston Green, 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).
Finally, we are 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.
Presented by The Ripieno Choir
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