Music from Renaissance Portugal is the promise as Cambridge Taverner Choir head to Boxgrove Priory for a concert at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 22.
Choir member Josie Dixon said: “The splendours of Portugal’s musical golden age, in the late 16th and early-17th centuries, are brought to life in this concert by the Cambridge Taverner Choir, who pioneered the rediscovery of this exquisite repertoire. The greatest Portuguese composers of the age – Manuel Cardoso, Duarte Lobo and Pedro de Cristo - produced music of intense expression and thrilling sonorities, combining the filigree beauties of Renaissance polyphony with the rich colours and dramatic gestures of the Baroque. Boxgrove Priory, with its frescoed ceiling and glorious acoustic, makes an ideal setting for this special concert.
“The Cambridge Taverner Choir has been delighting audiences for over 30 years with performances of sacred works from the early-music repertoire acclaimed for their expressive passion and sheer musicianship. Among the choir’s discography are recordings of Portuguese Renaissance music shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award.”
“The conductor of this concert, Owen Rees, now an Oxford professor, made some important musical discoveries in a Portuguese monastery in Coimbra while he was a graduate student at Cambridge back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“He brought to light the hitherto unknown work of a Portuguese composer called Pedro de Cristo and won a grant from the Gulbenkian Foundation to bring the Cambridge Taverner Choir to Portugal to sing this repertoire in the places it was written, for the first time in 400 years. It includes a piece believed to be written for the ceremonial reburial of Alfonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, which the choir sang gathered around his tomb. On that tour, culminating in this return to the monastery of Santa Cruz where De Cristo’s music originated, the choir gave a series of concerts from Lisbon to Leiria, where their broadcast for Portuguese radio was attended by the Portuguese ambassador. The choir subsequently produced two CD recordings of Portuguese Renaissance music (the first in their growing discography) and were shortlisted for the Gramophone Early Music Award. This year we celebrate the 400th anniversary of De Cristo’s death with this concert, returning to the choir’s musical heartland, this time under the painted vaulting of Boxgrove Priory.”
Tickets £15 to include a glass of cava in the interval available from Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, on 01243 816525; firstname.lastname@example.org.