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Celestial Harmonies | Oxford Pro Musica Singers

Saturday March 2, 2024 at 19:30
Exeter College Chapel, Oxford
£15 in advance and on the door, £5 students and under 25
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Requiem - Kerensa Briggs
  2. Gaude gloriosa Dei Mater - Thomas Tallis
  3. 4 motets sur des thèmes grégoriens Op 10 - Maurice Duruflé

The intimate surroundings of Exeter College Chapel will be the ideal setting for a varied programme of choral music: Celestial Harmonies.

We are delighted to give the Oxford premiere of the recently composed setting of the Requiem by the young British composer Kerensa Briggs. Her setting of the Requiem for choir, soprano soloist and organ brings “her own colours to the gently assuaging tradition of Duruflé and Fauré“. The piece recently received its first recording. We’re looking forward to performing this contemplative, comforting music.

The other main work in our programme is Thomas Tallis’s monumental setting of Gaude gloriosa Dei Mater (Rejoice O glorious Mother of God). It’s a long piece in eight contrasting musical sections which is now thought to have been written late in the reign of Henry VIII in the 1540s. (see more info on our blog) Tallis uses varied combinations of voices and musical ideas for the different sections, and the piece builds slowly to a memorable and powerful conclusion. This work has justly been described as “one of the crowning glories of the English Renaissance”.

Both the main works above are based on plainsong, and we also include Maurice Duruflé’s four motets based on Gregorian themes (1960). Duruflé uses the ancient melodies to build a magical sound world in these brief pieces, as he had done 10 years earlier in his own setting of the Requiem mass.

Exeter College Chapel
Turl Street

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