Twenty eight handpicked singers, who meet several times a week to provide the choral music that is an integral part of their daily lives, be it day to day worship or life’s transitions. This is the Choir of Christ’s College Cambridge which is to tour New South Wales and Victoria in July.
Their history reaches far back into the beginnings of the Tudor realm, when their college received its present charter in 1505 from the matriarch of the dynasty and mother of King Edward VII, Lady Margaret Beaufort.
For several centuries, only men sang in the choir with the upper voices made up of trebles. More recently, women from other colleges were recruited to the choir until 1979 when Christ’s College began to admit women and was able to fill all voice parts from within its ranks.
In between its responsibilities at home, the choir undertakes a busy annual touring programme and has made many recordings, the most recent of which was directed by Sir Philip Ledger.
In Sydney their programme includes a selection of music that extends from the Renaissance to Rachmaninov. It is repertoire that is much loved and that audiences would be disappointed not to hear from a choir of this calibre, from these origins. There is Tallis’ Lamentations of Jeremiah, and Britten’s Missa Brevis, Howell’s Requiem and a venture in to the Italianate with Verdi’s Pater Noster. Other major English choral composers are represented – Parry, Harris, Vaughan Williams and Stanford, as well as the riches of Bach, Bruckner, Brahms, Faure, Saint-Saens and more.
Two of their Sydney concerts are at Christ Church St Laurence.
On Saturday July 16that 7 pm the programme includes music by Britten, Verdi, Faure, Tallis, Byrd and Victoria. Tickets are $30 and $20 (concession), and are available at the door. Seating is unreserved.
On Sunday, July 17, at10.30am, a High Mass will feature Kodaly’s Missa Brevis. The service should last about 90 minutes.
If you can’t hear them in Sydney at Christ Church St Laurence on the 16th and the 17th July, or St Philip’s York Street on the 15th, you can hear them in several regional centres around NSW and in Canberra.