©Ash Mills

This is an archived event

Gesualdo Six

English Motets

Guy James, Tom Lilburn countertenors Joseph Wicks, Josh Cooter tenors Michael Craddock baritone Sam Mitchell bass Owain Park director

This wonderful programme of English motets vividly illustrates how music accommodated itself to the political turbulence of the 15th and 16th centuries. Lavish Catholic services required elaborate music and Latin texts. Edward VI’s stricter Protestantism demanded simpler settings where each word was audible. Then, in Elizabeth’s reign, a more relaxed simplicity combined clarity with musical refinement.

Tallis was the supreme exponent of reinvention – consistent in quality even while his style changed dramatically. The recusant Byrd, retaining the Queen’s favour, gave voice to the plight of fellow Catholics with some of the most enduring music of the era. This was a period of incredible productivity when many other talented composers blossomed and printed sheet music became widely available.

“…a beatific smile of pure enjoyment as we listened to this admirably constructed programme” Cathedral Music Magazine, “At times you felt like there were a hundred voices; at others, only one” Varsity

The Gesualdo Six is a vocal consort, directed by Owain Park, which comprises some of the country's finest young choral singers. Formed in 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo’s Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge, the group went on to give over one hundred performances around the United Kingdom and abroad in its first four years. Over that time, they further developed their passion for ensemble singing, that for several of them, stemmed from formative years as choristers in churches and cathedrals around the country. The group previously sang at the Festival in 2016. 


Programme notes provided free of charge


Fri 11 Oct 2019

Little Missenden Church