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O Oriens! An Advent Cycle | The Renaissance Singers

Saturday December 16, 2017 at 19:30
St George's Church, Bloomsbury, London
in advance: £12/ £10 (concesssions); on the door: £14/ £12 (concessions)
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Magnificat 8 - Nicolas Gombert
  2. O Emmanuel - Pierre de Manchicourt
  3. O virgo virginum - Pierre de Manchicourt
  4. O clavis David - Antoine De Mornable

Amid the onslaught of predictable and traditional seasonal fare, the Renaissance Singers presents a programme of sumptuous polyphony in the spirit of Advent, the liturgical season of expectation and preparation.

We are excited to be singing the cycle of ‘O’ antiphon settings published by Pierre Attaingnant in the mid-1530s. Written by a group of composers working at institutions including Notre Dame and Ste Chapelle, Paris, the polyphony is in the finest traditions established by Josquin — expressive, sinuous and studded with false relations.

Each antiphon begins with the exclamation ‘O’. They were to be sung at Vespers before and after the Magnificat on the days preceding Christmas Eve. The music is newly-edited for this concert, and to our knowledge this is the first modern performance of all nine motets in the cycle; only a few have previously been recorded.

The music, by composers including Pierre Certon, Antoine Mornable and Pierre de Manchicourt, deserves to be better known. It has great emotional power, especially in the untexted melismatic sections that are reminiscent of settings of the Lamentations. The programme will be capped with selected settings of the Magnificat by Franco-Flemish contemporaries.

St George's Church, Bloomsbury
Bloomsbury Way
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