MUSIC NEWBORN - Oliver Hirsh


chamber organ with singers, instrumentalists

Chamber choirs or ensembles comprising singers and instrumentalists
are invited to organize and collaborate in a concert of English music.
Joint rehearsal(s) can take the form of a course.
The program could focus on one of the following themes:

project Peter Philips

Splendid, often virtuoso works for keyboard instrument rally round vocal pieces which the composer used as his springboard, for example his own 6-part madrigal Fece da voi partite or Orlando di Lasso's appealing 4-part chanson Bonjour, mon cueur. Instrumentalists among the participants might explore dance settings based on the passamezzo ground in preparation for enjoying Philips' Pavana and Galiarda of the same persuasion (in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book). Further possibilities for singers, perhaps accompanied by instrumentalists: Philips' 5-part Ascendit Deus or 8-part Cecilia Virgo.

Thomas Tomkins rediscovered

Together we prepare a Verse Anthem for small choir with soloists and instrumental accompaniment, set off by a colourful selection of works for keyboard instrument, all uniquely preserved in an autograph manuscript (see illustration). They represent forms with which Tomkins already (about 1600) was familiar when a student of

the master: William Byrd

We choose a motet or two out of Byrd's wonderful, many-sided vocal output that suits the cast of singers and the occasion. And then we'll make the acquaintance of an old English ballad. One can hardly imagine greater intensity of expression than is un-folded in Byrd's sublime variations on popular songs of his day. All his keyboard works incorporate elements of variation, whether fantasia, pavan or galliard. And all feel at home on the lively little organ, whose model in Sevenoaks was mentioned in 1605.


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