Venues – Trinity Boston

Trinity, Copley Square Boston

Email using this link – Tel: 617 536 0944

Performance – Evensong 6 April 2011, 5.45 pm

The choir presents a programme of liturgical music within the context of Evensong, including works by three composers with strong Christ Church associations.  John Taverner and Thomas Armstrong were both Directors of Music in the college.  The anthem is Lassus’s powerful setting of one of the penitential psalms, ‘Out of the deep have I cried unto Thee, O Lord’, particularly suitably for the season of Lent.

Introit:  Christe Jesu – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)

[audio:Christe Jesu – Excerpt.mp3]

Responses: Humphey Clucas (b 1942)

Psalm:  84 – Thomas Armstrong (1898 – 1994)

Canticles: Chichester Service – William Walton (1902 – 1983)

Anthem: De Profundis – Orlande de Lassus (1532 – 1594)

Looking Back from the past at the House Today

It has been many years since I have been able to visit Christ Church and then only as a tourist. So it is frozen in the times that I was there as an under graduate – back in the late 1960’s!

I asked Chris, who is a contemporary of mine what it is like now – from his perspective as a volunteer who spends a lot of time there. Here is his answer:

The Tour – the Choristers Journey

They are of course the heart of the choir and when they sing… But they are also boys. So what will the tour be like for them?

Here is Chris Rocker talking about this.

The Tour – What do we hope for you?

What did we hope for when we decided to do this tour? It is a lot more than simply filling seats and offering up great music. I interviewed Chris Rocker our “general” to offer you some clarity.

We hope that the tour may give you who are alumns and those that you care for a glimpse of Oxford. Not just the visual and the sound of the choir but the very essence of the place.  We also hope that you may be able to share this with other alumns. For it is easy to go back to the House for  Gaudy if you live in the Europe. But for us here, it is hard.

We also hope that we can offer a precious moment for all of you who simply love choral music. Millions in North America have sung in or still sing in a choir. I share with you the special time that came when I too sung in a choir. Most of us old farts on the tour have done so. Chris was a singer and Tom who is our web miracle worker was a star boy chorister and a lay clerk at Christ Church. We are bound to this project by our passion for this kind of music.

For you we offer not just the concert as a chance to hear great music sung by a great choir, but we will also be having open rehearsals so that those in the local choral community can share the inner workings. We will also in some venues also be joined by the local choir such as at Grace Church in Toronto. We will do our best to give back to you as much as we can.

Apologies for the video quality. I was in Canada and Chris at Christ Church – please forgive his somewhat Vampire hue – we are just amateurs at this skype video. But his comments are anything but amateur and show his deep love and commitment to the Choir and to the House. I hope you enjoy this.

Later this week he will talk about what it will be like for the boys – our most precious charges. At the end of the week he will talk about Christ Church as it is now as seen by a man of his age and stage. I share his feeling that we had the great fortune to be at a very special place. I hope that you did as well.

Venues – St Barts New York

St Barts 325 Park Ave (at 51st Street) New York New York 10022

Tel 212 378 0222 – Email central@stbarts.org

Performance:  Monday 4th April at 7.30pm

Tonight’s programme consists of some of the gems from the vast repertoire of English sacred music. In the first half, the choir performs music from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, starting with a motet by the first director of music at Christ Church, John Taverner and ending with one of Handel’s famous coronation anthems. The second half opens with an anthem by the present Master of the Queen’s Music, Peter Maxwell-Davies, and after two works from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, the final group includes Britten’s masterly setting of the Te Deum, a contemporary piece by Howard Goodall, and finally, a rousing setting of the Jubilate by William Walton, another famous Christ Church alumnus. We hope you enjoy this lightning survey of the best of the English choral tradition.

Christe Jesu – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)

[audio:Christe Jesu – Excerpt.mp3]

Salvator Mundi – Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585)

O clap your hands together – Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625)

Organ Solo

Jehova quam multi sunt hostes – Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)

Lord I trust Thee – George Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759)

Zadok the Priest Handel

INTERVAL

Jesus autem hodie – Peter Maxwell Davies (b 1934)

Justorum animae – C V Stanford (1852 – 1924)

Te lucis ante yerminum – Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877 – 195o)

Organ solo

Te deum in C – Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)

Jubilate – William Walton (1902 – 1983)

Video: History

Stephen Darlington talks about the unique institution that is Christ Church. You can also hear a small excerpt of Pygott – ‘Quid Petis O Fili‘; Richard Pygott was Master of the Choristers to the household chapel of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who founded Cardinal College in 1525, which was then refounded as Christ Church in 1546.

I must confess to be slightly biased towards Christ Church’s recording of this piece, as I’m singing the 1st Alto part!

Here is how to get your tickets

Please hit the links here and you will be taken to the ticketing for your venue

Washington National 1st April 7.30pm

Washington National Cathedral – 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, DC 20016

Tel 202 537 6200

Performance Friday 1st April at 7.30 PM

Tonight’s programme juxtaposes some of the finest sacred choral works of the sixteenth century with Fauré’s glorious setting of the Requiem Mass.  The season of Lent has inspired a wealth of music throughout history, and two pieces are included here: Lassus’s setting of Psalm 130 and Allegri’s famous setting of Psalm 51, the Miserere.  The first half of the programme is completed with music by three English composers of the same period, John Taverner, the first director of Music at Christ Church, Thomas Tallis and Robert Parsons. After the interval, by way of contrast, the choir is joined by the Cathedral’s instrumental ensemble for one of the most iconic sacred works ever composed, Fauré’s Requiem.

De Profundis – Orlando de Lassus (1532 – 1594)

Short Instrumental Piece

Kyrie Le Roy – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)

Im ienio et fletu – Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585)

Ave Maria – Robert Parson (1530 – 1570)

Short Instrumental Piece

Miserere Gregorio Allegri (1582 – 1652)

INTERVAL

Requiem – Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924)

St Albans – Davidson

St Albans Episcopal Church, 302 Caldwell Lane, Davidson NC 28036

Tel: 704 892 0173 Email: saintalbans@gostalbans.org

Performance Wednesday 30th March at 7.30pm

Tonight’s programme juxtaposes some of the finest sacred choral works of the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. The season of Lent has inspired a wealth of music throughout history, and two pieces are included here: Lassus’s setting of Psalm 130 and Allegri’s famous setting of Psalm 51, the Miserere.  The first half of the programme is completed with music by two English composers of the same period, John Taverner, the first director of Music at Christ Church and Robert Parsons. After the interval, by way of contrast,  we explore the richness of English choral music of the twentieth century, starting with the current Master of the Queen’s Music, Peter Maxwell Davies, and his great contemporary John Tavener. The final group includes Britten’s masterly setting of the Te Deum, a contemporary piece by Howard Goodall, and finally, a rousing setting of the Jubilate by William Walton, another famous Christ Church alumnus.

De Profundis – Orlande de Lassus (1532 1594)

Short Organ Piece

Kyrie Le Roy – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)

Ave Maria – Robert Parsons (1530 – 1570)

Short Organ Piece

Miserere – Gregorio Allegri (1582 – 1552)

Interval

Jesus autem hodie – P Maxwell Davies (b 1934)

Song of Simeon: Lors’ Prayer – John Tavener (b 1944)

The Lord is my shepherd – Lennox Berkeley (1903 – 1989)

Organ Piece

Te Deum in C – Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)

I am not I – Howard Goodall (b 1958)

Jubilate – William Walton (1902 – 1983)

The Founding of the Choir – Henry VIII is Jealous

Agnus Dei’ from Music for Cardinal Wolsey; Missa Veni sancte spiritus, Richard Pygott (1485-1549)

HT to treblechoir99 a goldmine on Youtube with hundreds of pieces and as important really thoughtful commentary.

Here is his description of the early years of the Choir. The splendid palace you see on this video is of course Hampton Court – built by Wolsey and given by him to the King. It is still a private home for the Royal Family – but they don’t live there.

Thomas Wolsey (1471 1530; sometimes spelled Woolsey), who was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, was an English statesman and a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

When Henry VIII became king of England in 1509, Wolsey became the King’s almoner. Wolsey’s affairs prospered and by 1514 he had become the controlling figure in all matters of state and extremely powerful within the Church. The highest political position he attained was Lord Chancellor, the King’s chief adviser, enjoying great freedom and often depicted as an alter rex (other king). Within the Church he became Archbishop of York, the second most important seat in England, and then was made a cardinal in 1515, giving him precedence over even the Archbishop of Canterbury. His main legacy is from his interest in architecture, in particular his old home of Hampton Court Palace, which stands today. Few men born without noble blood had as much power as Wolsey during Europe’s Early Modern period.

Although it would be difficult to find a better example of abuses in the Church than the Cardinal himself, Wolsey appeared to make some steps towards reform. In 1524 and 1527 he used his powers as papal legate to dissolve thirty decayed monasteries where corruption had run rife, including abbeys in Ipswich and Oxford. However, he then used the income to glorify God by founding a grammar school in Ipswich (The King’s School, Ipswich) and Cardinal College in Oxford. The college in Oxford was renamed King’s College after Wolsey’s fall. Today it is known as Christ Church. In 1528, he began to limit the benefit of clergy.

Wolsey’s chapel choir clearly prospered under Pygott’s direction — so much so, in fact, that it soon aroused the envy of the king. Late in March 1518, the dean of Henry’s own household chapel, Richard Pace, wrote to Wolsey in order to requisition one of the cardinal’s choristers, couching his reason as a veiled threat: ‘if it were not for the personal love that the King’s highness doth bear unto your grace, surely he would have out of your chapel not children only, but also men; for his grace hath plainly shown… that your Grace’s Chapel is better than his, and proved the same by this reason that if any manner of new song should be brought into both the said Chapels to be sung ex improviso then the said song should be better and more surely handled by your chapel than by his Grace’s.’ A few days later, when Pace wrote again to thank Wolsey for the chorister, he remarked that ‘Cornyshe [the master of the king’s chapel] doth greatly laud and praise the child… and doth in like manner extol Mr. Pygote for the teaching of him.’ Pygott seems to have continued to direct Wolsey’s chapel for the rest of its existence, accompanying his master on embassies to France on at least two occasions, and being rewarded from time to time with annuities from monasteries susceptible to the cardinal’s influence.