Saturday 28 March 2015
Church of St Alphege, Oldfield Lane, Bath
Victoria Lamentations for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday
James MacMillan Tenebrae Responsories
The liturgy of Holy Week has inspired a great wealth of wonderful music. This concert focuses on two of the finest examples, one from the sixteenth century and from the twenty-first.
The nine Lamentations by Victoria – organised into sets for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday – form the core of the concert. Among the many settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah these by Victoria are perhaps the most beautiful and poignant. This is music of plangent austerity, the mood restrained and sorrowful.
Interspersed among them are the three Tenebrae Responsories by the most individual of contemporary British composers, James MacMillan. Powerful and highly dramatic, these explore a virtuosic range of choral writing in wringing every ounce of meaning from the text. The contrasting approaches of the two composers provide a perfect foil for each other. All will be further enhanced by the simple beauty and wonderful acoustics of St Alphege, Bath’s ‘hidden gem’.