Monday, 11 July 2016

Looking forward to the 2016 Edington Festival

Choirs at the 2015 Edington Festival with Jeremy Summerly, Matthew Martin, Peter Stevens and Benjamin Nicholas - photo Wiltshire Times
Choirs at the 2015 Edington Festival with Jeremy Summerly,
Matthew Martin, Peter Stevens and Benjamin Nicholas
The Edington Festival is an annual celebration of music within the liturgy, a week in August (this year 21-28 August) when four services per day at Edington Priory Church in Wiltshire provide fine music sung within the context of the liturgy. 

Throughout the week the Offices of Matins and Compline are sung by a Schola Cantorum (directed by Peter Stevens, assistant master of music at Westminster Cathedral), whilst the main services are sung by a choir of men and boys (conducted by Matthew Martin, director of music at Keble College, Oxford) and a mixed voice consort (directed by Jeremy Summerly, director of music at St. Peter's College, Oxford). The festival director is Benjamin Nicholas (director of music at Merton College, Oxford).

The festival runs from 21 August 2016 when there is an opening service of Compline, to 28 August 2016 when the festival closes with Solemn Eucharist which includes Louis Vierne's Messe solennelle. The theme of this year's festival is suitably Shakespearean, The Seven Ages of Man and along the way there will be music by Victoria, Clemens non Papa, Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, Anton Bruckner, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sir George Dyson, Benjamin Britten, Sir William Walton, Kenneth Leighton, and Morten Lauridsen to name but a few, and Francis Pott whose festival commission Mihi autem nimis is being premiered at the Choral Evensong on 24 August 2016, which is being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

The event is free and unticketed, you just turn up. And now that the church has a wonderful new organ (a Harrison & Harrison installed in 2014), there is the chance to listen to an organ recital for 30 minutes before the main evening service each day.

Full details from the festival website.

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