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Monteverdi: A 450th Anniversary Concert SOLD OUT

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Choir of New College Oxford
Michael Collins


Choir of New College Oxford and Michael Collins

£6 - £15


Event duration: 90 minutes

Location: Blenheim Palace: The Orangery

The world-famous Choir of New College Oxford performs a selection of works by Monteverdi to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth and mark the opening of this year’s Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music. The performance will be preceded by a short talk on Monteverdi by writer and priest Father Michael Collins.

The programme will display some of the breadth of Monteverdi’s sacred writing for the human voice. For a composer whose highest goal was to write music of such seamless union with its text that the two became a single entity, musical expression was inherently tied to the word, whether in Latin or the vernacular. His motet Domine, ne in furore tuo displays this intense awareness of textual meaning, pairing rhythmic declamatory statements with captivating long lines that plead ‘sana me, Domine’ – ‘heal me, Lord’. Monteverdi’s Magnificat seconda for four lower voices, is contrasted with a setting of Salve Regina for two boys’ voices – both works from the composer’s significant publication Selva morale e spiritual (1641). The programme also includes works for solo tenor and continuo (Currite, populi), well-known motets such as Adoramus te a 6, and Monteverdi’s lush Letaniae della Beata Vergine a 6, published posthumously in 1650.

Monteverdi was an Italian composer, string player and choirmaster. He composed secular and church music and is regarded as a pioneer of opera. His music was revolutionary in its time. His works include the operas L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea, nine books of madrigals and three of church music.

The Choir of New College was formed in the 14th century and is one of the best known choral groups in the UK. It is made up of 30 voices, including the famous boy choristers. The choir regularly sings at chapel services. It has recorded more than 100 CDs across its vast repertoire and performances are frequently broadcast across the world. Recent tours have taken the choir to the USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Cyprus.

Collins served in two parishes in the Republic of Ireland before travelling to the Vatican for postgraduate studies. He has taught at The American University, John Cabot University and Duquesne University. He currently serves at St Mary’s Church in Dublin. He writes regularly for The Catholic Times and the Irish Times and is author of a number of books including Francis: Bishop of Rome; Good Pope John; and John Paul II: The Path to Sainthood. His lavishly illustrated book on the Vatican is regarded as a classic. He talks about his latest book, Remarkable Books, at another festival event.

This event lasts 90 minutes.

Sponsored by the Galileo Foundation

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