Friday, 14 October 2005

Autumn Newsletter

Its Newsletter time again, when I sent out a batch of newsletters to friends and contacts giving details of my exciting (!) musical activities. Currently the electronic versions are going out with the print ones later next week. Here's a copy to read here.


Recent Performances


De Profundis, was performed by the Latin Mass choir, conductor Malcolm Cottle, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Cadogan Street, Chelsea at High Mass on Sunday 9th October. The motet was commissioned by the choir and is one of a number of my pieces in their repertoire.


As part of my 50th birthday celebrations the eight:fifteen vocal ensemble, a new group of professional choral singers, gave a concert at St. Giles Cripplegate in July 2005. Conducted by Malcolm Cottle they sang a programme themed around the death of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. My cantata The Testament of Dr. Cranmer for unaccompanied chorus, setting extracts from Cranmer’s final speech, was premiered as were the 4 Advent motets from Tempus per Annum, the collection of motets for the church’s year. Cellist Jonathan Cottle joined the choir to perform my Collect for choir and cello. The concert was very well reviewed on The Classical Source web-site (http://www. classicalsource.com) and by Roderick Dunnett in The Church Times.


The Cranmer concert was recorded and I am happy to supply demo discs to anyone who is interested. Recordings of the 4 motets from Tempus per Annum have been posted on my web site (http://www.hugill.demon.co.uk/midi.htm) and further postings will be happening in due course.


Respice Me, Domine, a motet based on the text of the Introit for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time was premiered by London Concord Singers, conductor Malcolm Cottle, at a concert at St. Michael’s Church, Chester Square, Victoria, London. The motet is part of my on-going collection Tempus per Annum and was commissioned by the choir for performance at Strasbourg Cathedral in a liturgical context.

Future performances


On Thursday 15th December 2005 at 7.30pm at the Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, Mayfair, London, London Concord Singers under conductor Malcolm Cottle are giving a programme of music dedicated to St. Cecilia. My motet I Vespri di Santa Cecilia will be receiving its second performance, the choir having first performed the motet as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations in 1996. The motet sets Latin texts from the vespers antiphons for the Feast of St. Cecilia. Also included in the programme is music by Gabriel Jackson, Benjamin Britten, Peter Phillips, Morten Lauridsen and Orlandus Lassus.


March 21st 2006 is the 450th Anniversary of the execution of Thomas Cranmer at the University Church in Oxford. The church is marking the Anniversary with a number of events. On the day, the present Archbishop of Canterbury will be preaching; on the previous Saturday, 18th March 2006, the eight:fifteen vocal ensemble will be repeating their Cranmer themed programme at 7.30pm in the University Church. They will be performing my Testament of Dr. Cranmer, music by William Mundy, John Sheppard, Christopher Tye and Thomas Tallis plus motets from Tempus per Annum and the Collect for choir and cello. It is an immense privilege to be able to perform my setting of Cranmer’s last words in the setting where they were spoken. Further information from http://www.hugill.demon.co.uk/cranmer.htm


On Thursday 23rd March 2006, the Salomon Orchestra under Adrian Brown will be giving concert at St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, at 7.30pm. The programme will include Elgar’s Serenade for strings and Haydn’s Symphony No. 100, the Military. Also in the programme will be the premieres of my tone-poem In the Barbarian’s Camp and Elegy for baritone and orchestra. In the Barbarian’s Camp is based on Helen Waddell’s translation of a Latin poem in which the Roman poet complains of his inability to write verse whilst he his living with the over-friendly but smelly barbarians. Elegy is a setting, in German, of Rainer Maria Rilke’s long poem, the Second Duino Elegy. The singer will be the young German baritone, David Greiner, the work’s dedicatee.


Publication News


I have recently completed a cantata based on the journey of the Magi. Setting extracts for a sermon by the 17th century divine Lancelot Andrewes, the work is written for double chorus. Andrewes was fond of using Latin phrases in his sermons and a feature of The Magi is the use of bi-tonality to express the pull between the Latin and the English phrases. The work opens with a brilliant exposition of the text from St. Matthew's Gospel, in Latin and in English. Each movement then follows part of Andrewes's sermon and considers one aspect of the Magi's journey - the distance they came, the way that they came and the time of their coming. Further information, including musical extracts, available from http://www.sphericaleditions.co.uk/magi.html

Volume 2 of Tempus per Annum will consist of 30 motets for Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide and Pentecost; each motet based on the text of the Latin introit for the particular Sunday or Feast Day. The motets are being published in parallel English and Latin versions. Volume 2 will be available early next year; Volume 1 covering Advent and Christmastide is already available. Further information from http://www.sphericaleditions.co.uk/tempus-per-annum.html When complete, the Tempus per Annum collection will run to over 70 motets for the church’s year.

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