A matter of death and life
In a concert on Saturday 12th March, the Micklegate Singers give death the brush-off in a spine-tingling programme of music on the theme of death and resurrection.
In the intimate setting of the Unitarian Chapel on St Saviourgate in York, the choir will explore some of the most exciting music written on the subject. Not only will the choir be performing their usual eclectic mix of old and new, from 16th century to the present day, they are also continuing to broaden their repertoire into the romantic period with a work by Max Reger, who died a hundred years ago this year.
Of particular interest is the pairing of two settings of the words “Woefully arrayed”. The first is by 16th century composer William Cornysh, who was in charge of musical entertainment for Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. The second, in contrast, is by John McCabe, a 20th-21st century composer, who died only last year; written in twelve parts for one of Britain’s top vocal ensembles Stile Antico, it uses motifs from Cornysh’s setting, but pushes the harmonic and melodic limits in painting the horrors of Christ’s crucifixion.
The second half of the concert lightens the atmosphere with music celebrating the resurrection. Vocal lines skip and frolic through works by Guerrero, Hassler, Philips and Anerio, and the performance concludes with an ‘Alleluia’ by an American favourite, Eric Whitacre.
The Micklegate Singers is one of York’s oldest mixed-voice chamber choirs, having celebrated their 50th anniversary season in 2013. Praised for "the luxurious beauty of their sound" (York Press review March 2015), the choir is going from strength to strength under their Musical Director, Nicholas Carter.
The concert, Alleluia, He is Risen! takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 12th March 2015, at the Unitarian Chapel on St Saviourgate, York.