St Bride's: News - St Bride's promotes new music in the liturgy

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St Bride's: News

St Bride's promotes new music in the liturgy

St Bride's promotes new music in the liturgy

On Sunday 12th May St Bride's Choir is taking part in the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. We are delighted to welcome back the St Bride's Orchestra who will be joining the choir in a day of contemporary music within the liturgy including a St Bride's debut for the morning mass setting and two world premieres at Evensong.

At our 11am Choral Eucharist the choir are accompanied by orchestra under the directorship of our organist, Matthew Morley, in a liturgical performance of Roxanna Panufnik's Schola Missa de Angelis.

panufnik1.jpgBritish composer of Polish heritage, Panufnik's mass was commissioned for Schola, the choir of the London Oratory School. Tt takes the gentle, other-worldly melodies of the ninth century plainsong Missa de Angelis and overlays Panufnik's own harmonic language. It also fulfils a shopping list of requests from the boys of the choir: a simple Kyrie; an upbeat fast Gloria with big loud exciting chords; a smooth and gentle Sanctus & Benedictus; and a miserable Agnus Dei!

Two world premieres at Choral Evensong at 5:30pm - Robert Hainault's Evening Service in F Minor and Edmund Jolliffe's anthem Wessobrunn Prayer - complemented by Moore's Responses and Tarik O'Regan's Surrexit Christus.

Robert Hainault is a composer, organist and pianist. He is currently Director of Music at St John the Evangelist, Palmers Green. His Evening Service was commissioned by the Festival.

Hainault says of his setting:

"The two Canticles for Evensong are wonderful inspiration for any composer of liturgical music: the ecstatic words of Mary at the Annunciation and Simeon's final prayer in Coverdale's innately musical translations suggest so much by way of colour, gesture and feeling that one is almost spoiled for choice as to how to set them. The LFCCM's brief was to write accessible music for parish choirs, so I worked quickly and instinctively to produce something recognisably in the vein of the muscular 19th and 20th Century Anglican choral tradition so beloved by choirs, while employing the kind of direct modal sound familiar to modern listeners from contemporary electronic and ambient music production. I hope that it will go on to enrich worship in parish churches where there is an appetite both for familiar comforts and contemporary sounds."

Edmund Jolliffe studied music at Oxford University and completed a Masters in Film Composition at the Royal College of Music, London, under Academy Award Winner Dario Marianelli.

Jolliffe writes:

"The Wessobrunn Prayer is among the earliest poetic works in Old High German. It is named after the repository in which the parchment was discovered, the Wessobrunn monastery.The poem consists of an original part in which the story of creation is addressed and an added part in which God's mercy is prayed for. The music begins a touch mysteriously and gradually builds to a climax on the words 'One Almighty God' before resolving to a peaceful ending on the final line 'God is holy'. The imagery throughout the poem is very beautiful which inspired me to compose this piece in 2016."

The London Festival of Contemporary Church Music was founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Christopher Batchelor to 'promote the living tradition of liturgical music for choir and organ.' In the intervening years it has expanded from a few events at St Pancras Parish Church to a nine-day festival from 11th - 19th May including collaborations with some of today's best-known composers, concerts and outreach all over London. However, music in the liturgy remains at its heart with over 50 services at churches across the capital.

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