“Music for Kings, Queens & Gods”
Saturday 23 February (8pm)
‘the Orpheus Britannicus . . . a greater musical genius England never had’… So Henry Purcell was described by Roger North, James II’s Attorney General.
In this concert the Festival audience will discover again Purcell’s genius. “Music for Kings, Queen’s & Gods” will demonstrate how Henry Purcell created his own magic in blending music with words.
As part of his duties at Westminster Abbey and the Royal Court, Purcell wrote at least 65 full and verse anthems, numerous Service settings and a further 35 other sacred vocal works. The richness of his sacred music will be presented at this concert through four wonderful verse anthems, sung by the award-winning Victoria Children’s Choir and the St Christopher Singers. Get a taste of what will be in store through the link below.
Along with his contributions to the court and the church, Purcell wrote some of the finest 17th century music for the English theatre; this program will include orchestral suites from three of his most famous works for the stage, ‘King Arthur’, ‘The Fairy Queen’ and ‘Dido and Aeneas’, dramatic and richly expressive music.
By the end of this concert, the audience should understand why Holst, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Tippett and Pete Townsend of ‘The Who’ were among Purcell’s 20th-century admirers.
“This music of Purcell is exciting, vivacious, dynamic and invigorating. It is different from other music we have sung at this festival in a few ways. One of these is that Purcell is the first English composer we’ve sung in the time I’ve been involved with the festival. Singing in English is a treat, and an added challenge in some ways. I am very excited for the performance and urge you all to come. It is not a musical experience you will soon forget.” – a Victoria Children’s Choir Chorister
For your listening pleasure: from Purcell’s anthem “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem”
(The Choir of New College, Oxford)