Tuesday 29 December 2015

2016: The Sixteen's Choral Pilgrimmage

The Deer's Cry - Coro
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen are travelling to over 30 cathedrals and churches (plus the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and Kings Place, London) for The Deer's Cry, their Choral Pilgrimage for 2016. The programme mixes the music of William Byrd and Arvo Pärt, both of whom wrote music of faith under regimes of persecution (Byrd being circumscribed by being a Roman Catholic in Protestant England and Pärt living in Soviet controlled Estonia), though in the case of Pärt he did not write for the liturgy.  But many of Byrd's largest scale motets, though setting sacred texts, were not written for liturgical use, instead the wider public regarded them as a species of vocal chamber music whilst the covert Roman Catholics in the country took Byrd's distinctive selections of texts as a message of support.

Six of Byrd's pieces from the 1575 Cantiones Sacrae (published jointly by him and Tallis) are included in The Sixteen's programme including Tribue, Domine; Diliges Dominum; Emendemus in melius; Miserere mihi; O lux beata Trinitas. These will be set alongside Pärt's The Deer's Cry, The Woman with the Alabaster Box and Nunc Dimittis.

The pilgrimage starts at St John's College Chapel, Cambridge on 8 April 2016 and ends on 3 November at Kings Place. A full list of dates is available on The Sixteen's website. There are also a series of choral workshops, run by Eamonn Dougan and Sally Dunkley. The complete music from the pilgrimage will be available from January 2016 on a new Cd on The Sixteen's Coro label.

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