15 June 2011

Chant in Cambridge 22-23rd June

Wednesday 22 June - Thursday 23 June, 2011

St Catharine's College, Main Court and Chapel

THE HOURS: A 24-Hour Celebration of World Sacred Music

with Sound Installation by Jonathan Green and Edward Wickham

about THE HOURS:

The Hours is a 24-hour collage of sound and live performance devised by Jonathan Green and Edward Wickham, in association with award-winning vocal ensemble The Clerks.

The Hours celebrates the impulse to pray and to praise; an impulse shared by the faithful of all the world religions, and one which has inspired the finest art, literature and music.
Drawing on the universal poetry of the Psalms, The Hours presents multifarious sounds, voices and music in a tapestry which is at times abstract, and at times intensely direct and human.

The sound installation provides the backdrop for live performances by Cambridge-based groups; including a ‘Come and Sing’ event open to singers of all ages, ability and experience. In the final hour, the diverse elements of the collage coalesce into a live performance featuring Taverner’s sumptuous Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas, whose dense, polyphonic lines have previously been heard fragmentarily.

“one of the most inventive early music groups around” Musical Opinion

“a new side of early music'” Daily Telegraph

Main Events
• The Hours sound installation will run continuously in Main Court throughout the 24 hours.
• Performances by Chela/Buska (Georgian choir); Harmonia Alcorani (Muslim choir); chant from Jewish and Hindu traditions: details to be confirmed

Wednesday 22 June
1900-1930: The Hours launches with the office of Luminaria
sung by the St Catharine’s Girls’ Choir and Egyptian soprano Merit Ariane Stephanos;
featuring the World Premiere of a new work melding Western and Middle Eastern chant by Jonathan Green.

2100: Performance by Kol Echad (Jewish Community Choir)

2130: Performance by Chela (Georgian Choir)

2200-2245: Compline for the eve of Corpus Christi (Gregorian chant)

Thursday 23 June
0200-0330: Matins for Corpus Christi (Gregorian chant)

0700-0730: Lauds for Corpus Christi (Gregorian chant)

1630-1715: Global Harmony: a ‘Come and Sing’ session of sacred songs from different traditions
led by Rowena Whitehead and Talking in Tune Singers
Everyone is welcome, whatever your previous singing experience to add your voice to the rich and inspiring harmonies.

1800-1900: Final concert: Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by John Taverner
sung by award-winning vocal ensemble The Clerks

Ticket information

Admission to all aspects of The Hours is free.
You can register your interest in the Come and Sing event in advance by contacting music@caths.cam.ac.uk;
you can also simply join in on the day.
Tickets for the final performance (limited) can be reserved by contacting music@caths.cam.ac.uk.

14 June 2011

Portsmouth Chant Course concludes

From Neville McNally:

The Gregorian Chant Course concluded with a memorable final Workshop on Saturday last at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth.

The day followed a similar format to the previous 7 Workshops with participants dividing into 2 groups under the direction of Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB and Christopher Hodkinson. The participants prepared the chant for Mass of the Vigil of Pentecost which was celebrated by Abbot Cuthbert and sung to a very high standard.

At the beginning of the day everyone was given a Final Questionnaire, which was a follow-up to the Questionnaire issued at the first Workshop. For those who have participated in the Course and were unable to attend the final Workshop, but who would like to comment, I enclose a copy of the Final Questionnaire. Once completed, please return it to me as soon as you can.

The Workshop concluded with a discussion forum which gave an opportunity for questions and answers. Plenty of points were raised which included comments on the Course, ideas for continuing practice of the chant and how to reach a wider and younger audience. There was also a lot of interest in participating in a future course.

Finally, gratitude was expressed to Abbot Cuthbert and Christopher for their contributions to making the course such a success; and to the Cathedral Administrator, Canon Hopgood, for allowing us to use St John’s Cathedral and Hall.

If you would be interested in a similar course in the future, then please contact us:


11 June 2011

Chant day in York Sat 9th July

Church of St. Mary, Bishophill Junior, York. YO1 6EN
14.30 - 18.30

In this half-day workshop, in the oldest church in the City of York, we will learn and sing some of the most beautiful hymns, antiphons & psalms in the repertory of Gregorian Chant. We will immerse ourselves in the history, sound, technique and language of this ancient musical style, working toward an authentic and beautiful performance of Compline [The Night Office] at the end of the day.
All materials (scores and helpful resources) are included in the cost of the day. Beginners and more advanced singers are welcome. Registration Fee: £6.50 – £5.00 for Students. It would be helpful if you could register in advance, as this will give us an idea how music & other source materials to prepare!

To register please contact us at mike.4b@ntlworld.com or telephone (01904) 341853.

02 June 2011

Pope Benedict: more on Sacred music

The Holy Father has written a letter to the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music on the occasion of its centenary. As well as reiterating the 'primacy of Gregorian Chant' he makes a point familiar to readers of his book 'The Spirit of the Liturgy':

[W]e always have to ask ourselves: Who is the true subject of the liturgy? The answer is simple: the Church. It is not the individual or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church with its history, its rich tradition, and its creativity. The liturgy, and thus sacred music, 'lives from a correct and constant relationship between healthy traditio and legitimate progressio'...

There is more on the Vatican Information Service blog; I can't find the letter on the Vatican website yet. It is frustrating not to be able to see the whole letter.