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Singing Day "Ave verum Corpus - Composers and their Music"

Saturday 03 October 2015, 9:30

St Mary's Church Acton (nr. Nantwich)

Our Singing Day this year was an exploration of some of the composers who have set the text of “Ave verum corpus” to music, together with some of their other music. Starting with a brief explanation of the text and its original plainsong setting we sang William Byrd’s setting, together with a plainsong and polyphonic motet and took the opportunity to sing his rarely sung motet in praise and prayer for the first Queen Elizabeth as our own Queen reaches a significant milestone in her long reign. After exploring settings of the text by Lassus and Peter Philips we moved on to Mozart and took a side tour of three of his canons, two of them very simple, one a little more complex: all are choral gems. Our morning finished with Haydn’s setting of the text and a well known chorus fron his ‘Creation’.

After lunch we sang settings by Pearsall, Saint-Saëns, Liszt and Elgar, ending our third session with the glorious introduction to “The Apostles” – ‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me’.

Our final session included two settings by William Mathias, the last being his energetic and inspiring anthem for Ascentiontide – ‘Lift up your heads O ye gates’.

All these settings were well worth a day’s musical exploration in the company of like minded singers under John Naylor’s encouraging direction and fully supported by our accompanist Simon Russell on organ and keyboard