Renaissance Polyphony concerts for Laetare Sunday

By Jordan Grantham, 9 March 2018
A previous performance of the Byrd Consort at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Byrd Consort

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta is set to soar with stunning sounds of Renaissance polyphony in a special performance from The Byrd Consort on Saturday 10 March 2018.

The celebrated Elizabeth Swain OAM, former conductor of St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, will conduct the concert entitled ‘Easter Polyphony: Renaissance to Bruckner’.

It will be at 3pm on Saturday 10 March, the day before Laetare Sunday, a point of joy in the penitential Lenten season.

$10 tickets ($5 concession) will go to fundraising for St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta.

Main themes for the pieces during the concert include direct praise of God and devotion to the Mother of God.

The brilliant pieces include some of the most famous composers in the canon of sacred Western music, including Palestrina, the doyen of Renaissance chant, Thomas Tallis, Recusant Catholic and favourite in the court of King Henry VIII, Anton Bruckner, the devout Austrian organist and composer.

The Recorder Collective will provide Renaissance recorder music interludes between choral pieces.

Members of The Byrd Consort include the Taye sisters duo, Harley Aw, brother of the Tyburn sister’s Mother General and alumni of Campion College, Martin Hartley and Ezra Kuhn.

Claire Cook, Byrd Consort Musical Director, says people can look forward to a calm moment to meditate surrounded in peaceful music.

People have attended previous concerts of The Byrd Consort, in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook and the Blackheath Choir Festival. This year is their first time at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

The Byrd Consort has also performed internationally, including to the United Kingdom and Europe, to sing in historic Cathedrals and Churches.

“We all do it gratis for the love of the music we sing,” she said.

A preview of their repertoire can be enjoyed from this recording in the Medieval Cathedrale Sainte-Marie, former seat of the suppressed Bishopric of Oloron.

The musical programme includes Byrd’s Tristitia et anxietas (Sadness and anxiety), Tallis’ O sacrum convivium (O Holy Gathering) and Salvator mundi (Saviour of the World), Parsons’s Ave Maria, Lobo’s Versa est in luctum (Turned to mourning) and Pater peccavi (Father, I have sinned), des Prez’s Tu pauperum refugium (Thee, refuge of the poor), Palestrina’s Exultate Deo (Exult ye the Lord), Sweelinck’s Diligam te, Domine (I love ye, Lord), Scarlatti’s Ad te, Domine (To you, Lord), Bruckner’s Ave Maria and Casals’ O vos omnes (O you all).


Performance Details

Tickets are $10 ($5 concession)

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta
3pm Saturday 10 March 2018

St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt, Sydney
3.30pm Sunday 11 March 2018

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