Sacred Baroque from France and England

Saturday 19 November 2011

19 November, 2011 - 19:30 University Church

We present a programme of sacred Baroque music from England and France by the composers Henry Purcell and Jean Gilles. All of the music in this concert was performed at events of major royal importance, and so we begin with the two coronation anthems written by Purcell for James II in 1685, “I was glad” and “My heart is inditing”. From the beginning of one reign we then move to the close of others with Purcell’s Funeral music which incorporates music sung at the funeral of Queen Mary II in 1695.

After the interval we move across the channel to France to hear the seldom performed “Messe des morts” of Gilles which has its own royal connections having been performed at the funerals of Louis XV and Stanislaw of Poland. Not only is the music in the concert linked by its royal connections — both composers featured were writing in the last decades of the seventeenth century — they were both boy choristers who went on to become Directors of Music at those institutions where they had sung and they both died prematurely in their late thirties.

The Cherwell Singers will be joined by a small group of top string players and soloists Esther Brazil (soprano) Benjamin Williamson (alto) Guy Cutting (tenor) and Tom Edwards (bass). We do hope you can attend.

Directed by: James Brown