11 May 2024 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
A concert of unaccompanied choral music.
Programme to be announced in due course, to include favourites suggested by St Peter’s Singers Members and Friends.
A concert of unaccompanied choral music.
Programme to be announced in due course, to include favourites suggested by St Peter’s Singers Members and Friends.
Saturday 29 June 7.30pm
This programme of glorious 18th-century Baroque music is sure to raise the spirits.
Bach, Handel, Corelli, Scarlatti and Buxtehude each get to strut their stuff, displaying all the beauty, grace and emotional depth for which this period’s music is known.
And we’re delighted to welcome Manchester Baroque who will bring their period instruments and historically-informed performance skills to make this concert truly a delight and one to remember.
|Concerto Grosso Op6 No4||Arcangelo Corelli|
|Jesu, meine Freude||Johann Sebastian Bach|
|Dixit Dominus||Georg Friedrich Handel|
Pauline Nobes artistic director
This programme brings together some of the best music from the Italian and German traditions in the Baroque era. The Magnificat, often attributed to Buxtehude but without good evidence, actually bears many of the hallmarks of Franco-Italian composers such as Carissimi and Lully, and has a pleasant lilting style.
The Miserere by Francesco Scarlatti (brother of Alessandro and Uncle of Domenico) is a fine and under-rated work, a suitably plangent setting of Psalm 51 strongly characterised by the affecting musical vocabulary of the time. St Peter’s Singers performed it in 2022 under post-Covid austerity measures and are pleased to revisit it with proper orchestral involvement.
Corelli’s 12 Concerti Grossi Op 6, which feature a concerted group of soloists within a small instrumental ensemble, became hugely popular after their eventual publication in 1714, some thirty years after their composition. Handel was among many composers to copy and adopt the form, publishing in 1739 his own ”Opus 6′ set of 12 in honour of Corelli.
Jesu meine Freude is the most complex of Bach’s motets, being an elaboration of a well-known Lutheran hymn and demonstrating a wide range of compositional techniques, possibly with an educational purpose in mind. Yet for all the density of the musical thought and the serious engagement with the text, this is a joyful and uplifting work.
Composed in 1707 when the precocious and highly ambitious 22-year old Handel had just arrived in Rome, Dixit Dominus is a formidable tour-de-force from a composer who now found himself with access to some of the best musicians in Europe. Exhilarating for both performers and listeners alike, this work will provide a fine ending to this concert.
Since their launch in 2019, Manchester Baroque has built a reputation for engaging and vibrant performances of historical music on period instruments. Through concerts of chamber music, larger scale orchestral works and oratorios, Manchester Baroque is committed to the continued development of historically informed performances. They are normally to be heard in Manchester, so we welcome them to Leeds and are thrilled to make their work available to Yorkshire audiences.
Come and Sing Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Zadok the Priest with St Peter’s Singers!
Have you ever wanted to sing Zadok the Priest (remember it at the Coronation?) or the Mozart Requiem ?
Here’s your perfect chance to do so in a friendly environment and in the company of lots of other singers of all ages and ability!
St Peter’s Singers will host the event and lead the singing in the glorious setting of Leeds Minster. It will be directed by the brilliant Alex Woodrow, with Shaun Turnbull on the keys of the Minster’s famous Harrison & Harrison organ.
Copies of both works will be provided – if you have your own copy of the Barenreiter edition of the Mozart, or of Zadok the Priest, you are welcome to bring them. If you want to get ahead and do some prep in advance, you could try the ChoraLine App.
Registration will start at 1.00pm, and the rehearsal at 1.30pm. There will be plenty of time and space for refreshments and socialising, and we will conclude the afternoon with a performance starting at 5pm. Dress is smart casual. So it’s all set for an afternoon of fun singing some exhilarating music!
In order for us to prepare well to welcome you, you are asked to book ahead, letting us know one or two important bits of information. Only a very small number of un-notified admissions will be allowed for special cases on the day. On-line booking will close at 9pm on 17 November.
Under 18s are welcome but must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.
Audience are welcome to come for the performance at 5pm (doors open 4.30pm) – admission will cost £10 at the door.
If you have difficulties with booking online, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note this programme will be repeated on July 1 at St John’s Church, Sharow nr Ripon. For tickets and details of that event, please click here.
This beautiful programme of choral masterpieces mixes and matches exquisite music from the times of the two Queens Elizabeth, two golden eras of British choral music.
You will be able to hear works by the great William Byrd – who died 400 years ago this July – his friend Thomas Tallis, and their Spanish counterparts Victoria, Guerrero and Lobo.
And you can compare and contrast them with some of the most recent and stunning additions to our amazing British choral tradition – works by living composers Judith Weir, Cecilia McDowall and James MacMillan.
Or you can just sit, soak it up and revel in its sheer beauty!
The concert will last about 1.5 hours including an interval, during which refreshments will be served.
Set in the stunning surroundings of Leeds Minster, this concert is not to be missed!
|Sing joyfully||William Byrd|
|Gloria from Mass for 5 voices||William Byrd|
|Laudate Dominum||Francisco Guerrero|
|O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth||William Byrd|
|I love all beauteous things||Judith Weir|
|Who shall separate us||James MacMillan|
|Sanctus and Benedictus|
from Mass for 5 voices
|O nata lux||Thomas Tallis|
|O Radiant Dawn||James MacMillan|
|Vidi speciosam||Tomas Luis de Victoria|
|There is no rose of such vertu||Cecilia McDowall|
|Versa est in luctum||Alonso Lobo|
|Agnus Dei from Mass for 5 voices||William Byrd|
|Emendemus in melius||William Byrd|
|Faire is the heaven||William Harris|
There will be an interval during which refreshments will be served
Please note this programme will be repeated on July 1 at St John’s Church, Sharow nr Ripon HG4 5BJ
Penthos is a work for Choir, Orchestra, Organ and Soloists that combines high-quality music and poetry, and lasts nearly an hour.
It takes the form of the traditional Requiem Mass, but with new words exploring themes of reconciliation and forgiveness, and music that reaches beyond the words to speak to – and affirm – our deepest human longings.
“Put quite simply, it is a work of depth, maturity, power, beauty and sheer brilliance, whose qualities are revealing themselves week by week in rehearsal.”Alex Woodrow, Conductor, St Peter’s Singers
“So it is locally written and locally performed, but trust me it will sound to you as if it has existed as a core of choral music for centuries. It is that good.”Richard Pascoe, Member of St Peter’s Singers
“A striking quality of the auspicious premiere … was the communicative power of the Penthos Requiem to connect with the listener”Geoffrey Mogridge on Penthos in The Wharfedale Observer
For those who were present, the first performance of Penthos in October 2018 was something they are unlikely to forget: Matthew Oglesby’s powerful music adding further imaginative and emotional depth to Hannah Stone’s visionary poetry.
The pandemic forced the postponement of the second performance, planned for April 2020, but we were determined that there should be another opportunity to hear this superb work.
If you couldn’t get to that first performance in 2018, or you would like to hear it again… this is your chance, not to be missed!
Hannah Stone and Matthew Oglesby live in or around Leeds. They are members of St Peter’s Singers and highly active in Leeds’ cultural life.
St Peter’s Singers
Lucy Appleyard contralto
Quentin Brown bass
William Campbell organ
National Festival Orchestra
Sally Robinson leader
Alexander Woodrow conductor
St Peter’s Singers gratefully acknowledge the generous support of
The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
The Friends of the Music of Leeds Minster
St Peter’s Singers’ presentation of Music for Good Friday is an annual event, given by kind permission of Leeds Minster. It provides an opportunity to hear one of the great works of the sacred oratorio repertoire in a context than a concert hall performance on a Saturday evening cannot provide, and at a price that more people can afford.
Past works receiving performance include:
Double Entendre! Yes, we’re teaming up with the Leeds Guild Of Singers so you can hear two choirs for the price of one!
The idea, which has been on the table for quite a while due to the pandemic, is not to form an augmented chorus for some performance on a grand scale, but to offer a programme of music written for single choir, double choir and a number of variations in between. So you can experience the thrill of hearing all 70 voices singing together but also enjoy the contrasts of each choir singing on their own.
The idea of two groups of singers singing to each other in dialogue is nearly as old as western music itself. It goes back to the practice of monastic communities, who would sit facing each other in a collegiate arrangement, and chant alternate verses of the Psalms to each other, thus originating what is known as antiphonal music. Even in plainsong it works like a conversation with a musical idea stated in the first half of the verse and the answer contained in the response.
Antiphonal writing is a feature of the early choral writing of the Venetian Giovanni Gabrieli (b c1554) and also of Heinrich Schütz (b 1585) and indeed continues to be used through to modern times – those who attended our concert in November (A Vision of Albion) may recall Stanford’s brilliant motet Coelos ascendit hodie especially for its antiphonal writing.
Some composers have of course taken advantage of having choirs capable of singing in eight or more parts (two each of soprano, alto, tenor and bass) to create richer, symphonic textures with more colourful and complex harmonies. Parry’s There is an old belief, and indeed Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor from that same concert are fine examples, with Vaughan Williams mixing antiphonal writing into it as well, and there are many more.
The programme for this concert includes a broad range of choral music ranging from the early German music of Schütz and Buxtehude through Romantic works by Mendelssohn, Rheinberger and Rachmaninoff to more modern works by Schnittke and Arvo Pärt. It illustrates the amazing creativity of these composers as they continually sought and found news ways to vary and develop the use of double choir resources.
The motet Jauchzet dem Herrn by Heinrich Schütz (himself influenced by Gabrieli) shows antiphonal writing at its strongest with echo effects and great rhythmic drive as two four-part choirs of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses fling words and musical ideas back and forth between them, almost interrupting each other at times. By contrast, the Magnificat that was once attributed to Buxtehude finds a different way of varying the sounds and textures by switching from 5-part choral writing to solo voices or single-voice ensembles. And in his lyrical motet Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen, Mendelssohn provides a further variation, creating separate groups out of the upper and lower voices for antiphonal use.
Rachmaninoff’s Choral Concerto and Schnittke’s Three Sacred Hymns take us into Russian Orthodox tradition, where the desire to enrich the music of the liturgy while retaining the restriction to just a cappella choral resources led to the development of great dynamism and richness, exemplified in the Choral Concerto. Schnittke demonstrates both antiphonal writing and the concerted building of richer choral sound, with the two being combined in the third hymn. Arvo Pärt, by contrast, and possibly seeking to return to basics, achieves the opposite in his setting of the Magnificat: a spare, minimalist, almost glacial texture created through, not despite, a multiplicity of parts, and a reminder of the simple chant that lies deep in the heart of all liturgical music.
The concert reaches its climax with the opulent Mass in E flat (‘Cantus Missae’) by Joseph Rheinberger. This magnificent work boasts antiphonal writing reflecting all the glory of the Venetian tradition, while also displaying mastery of contrapuntal textures – the weaving together of many moving parts – bequeathed to him in the German tradition by Bach and Mendelssohn. With all 70 or so voices of the two choirs combined in the warm key of E flat major, this work will provide an uplifting end to the concert and a fine memory to take away.
|Three sacred hymns||Alfred Schnittke|
|Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen||Felix Mendelssohn|
|Jauchzet dem Herrn||Heinrich Schütz|
|Choral Concerto||Sergei Rachmaninoff|
|Mass in E flat ‘Cantus Missae’||Joseph Rheinberger|
The concert takes place in the beautiful setting of Leeds Minster at 4pm on Saturday 11 February, and will last about an hour. Refreshments will be served.
Leeds Minster is a large and well-ventilated building offering plenty of space, as well as impressive architecture and ambience. Car parking is available on streets nearby, in the car park by the Palace Hotel, and in the NCP Markets Car Park.
This celebration of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ choral music, given in honour of his 150th anniversary, explores some of the colours and sounds of what we now recognize as the greatest and most authentic voice of English music to emerge after the Great War.
The programme encompasses both folksong and some of his most sublime spiritual outpourings.
The concert will last about an hour and a half, including an interval, during which refreshments will be served.
|Coelos ascendit hodie||Charles Villiers Stanford|
|Justorum Animae||Charles Villiers Stanford|
|Beati quorum via||Charles Villiers Stanford|
|There is an old belief||Hubert Parry|
|O taste and see||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|O Clap your hands||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|Mass in G Minor||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|The Turtle Dove||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|Linden Lea||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|Reconciliation (from Dona nobis pacem)||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
|Nunc dimittis||Gustav Holst|
|Lord, thou has been our refuge||Ralph Vaughan Williams|
Vaughan Williams was a man of contradictions, not least as an agnostic with a profound sense and desire for the spiritual. He found his voice as he sought out, preserved and assimilated the folksongs of England, finding in them a simplicity of musical expression a world away from the music of Empire, and then transforming that material into profound high art, capable of speaking to and for a nation in a way his Edwardian predecessors no longer could.
Our programme showcases the influences of his teachers Parry and Stanford which he absorbed but gradually left behind. It includes some of his folksong arrangements, and some of his finest spiritual music – the Mass in G Minor, first performed 100 years ago almost to the day, and the anthem O God our help in ages past.
St Peter’s Singers
David Grealy – organ
Alexander Woodrow Director
We were delighted to welcome so many of you to our presentation of Music for Good Friday, which received good reviews. It is always good to see friends and familiar faces, but it was also very pleasing to see and meet people for whom this was their first choral concert or their first concert at Leeds Minster. We hope you enjoyed it ! Judging by the feedback, both music and surroundings contributed to a new and at times very moving experience. We hope you will come again!
We’re pleased now to announce details of the two concerts we will be giving this summer: a Platinum Jubilee recital on June 11 at Leeds Minster, and a trip out of town to St Cuthbert’s church in Pateley Bridge on July 9. You can book for both of them on-line now.
The music for this Jubilee recital is drawn mostly from Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953, including well-known classics such as Handel’s Zadok the Priest and Parry’s I was glad. The short anthem Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace by SS Wesley, once organist of Leeds Minster is part of the mix, along with movements from Vaughan WIlliams’ Mass in G Minor in this his 150th Anniversary.
The programme looks back briefly, as did the Coronation, to the music of Queen Elizabeth I, and forwards to the current day with a composition by the late Francis Jackson from the 2011 Choirbook for the Queen, and a work by Judith Weir, the current Master of the Queen’s Music (pictured above).
Shaun Turnbull plays the organ and Alex Woodrow directs.
The concert will be followed by a chance to meet members of the choir and other music lovers over a complimentary glass of wine or juice.
A Choral Fancy
nr Harrogate, HG3 5LQ
The programme for this recital incorporates a delightful mix of styles and sounds. There’s a nod to the Queen’s Jubilee with two of Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Parry’s I was glad, together with three of his beautiful Songs of Farewell. Rheinberger’s Abendlied (‘Evening hymn’) brings a more reflective mood, while James Macmillan’s Lux aeterna allows us to briefly revisit our Songs of Solace programme from last October, and remember those lost in the pandemic.
Two of Poulenc’s short Motets for a time of penitience take us briefly to the very different sound world of Twentieth century French spiritual music, before we switch to a more relaxed set of secular part songs, including the well-known Linden Lea by Vaughan Williams and Stanford’s gorgeous The Blue Bird. This group finishes with Weaver bird, a short and humorous composition by our in-house duo poet Hannah Stone and composer Matthew Oglesby.
We finish, fittingly for a choir with our name, with two settings of the text Tu es Petrus (You are Peter), one by the 16th century master Palestrina and so one of the earliest known settings, and the other composed for our 40th anniversary in 2017 by Philip Moore, formerly Organist of York Minster.
Anthony Gray plays the organ and Alex Woodrow directs.
Tickets (£10) will be available at the door or on-line.
The concert starts at 7.30pm and the bar will be open from 7.00pm
We look forward with great excitement to our presentation of Music for Good Friday, always one of the high points of our calendar, and one we’ve had to forgo for the last two years.
This year we present a programme of absolutely gorgeous music for Passiontide by Italian composers. Gregorio Allegri’s famous Miserere is included, as well as Antonio Lotti’s well-known Crucifixus est pro nobis in 8 parts.
But the real stars of this programme are settings of the Miserere (Psalm 51) and the 13th century latin poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa by Francesco and Domenico Scarlatti respectively. They were uncle and nephew, Francesco being the younger brother of the more famous Alessandro, who was Domenico’s father. They lived at the height of the Baroque period, Domenico being born in 1685, the same year as Handel and JS Bach.
Both these works will sound familiar to lovers of Vivaldi’s Gloria, but with different textures providing additional variety to the ear. Francesco’s Miserere exploits different combinations of soloists, expertly sung by members of the choir, mixed in between full choral movements.
Domenico writes for 10 vocal parts and continuo, demanding considerable virtuosity at times, but achieving a richness and sonority rarely matched in the baroque era.
He rises superbly to the challenge of setting words that express so eloquently not just the sorrow of Jesus’ mother Mary as she watches her son dying a cruel death, but also the sorrow of any other compassionate human being reflecting on such events. As so often, the music reaches into places that the words, especially the latin ones, don’t necessarily reach.
They are very fine works, deserving of greater exposure. This is a rare chance to hear them live.
The music starts at 7.00pm on Good Friday 15 April 2022 in Leeds Minster, and will last about 75 minutes.
Why not book now ?
Music for Good Friday
Good Friday, 15 April, 7.00pm
A programme of beautiful and deeply expressive Italian music composed for the time when the Christian church commemorates the death of Christ.
Don’t miss this chance to hear Allegri’s famous Miserere live!
Tickets £15, Concessions £12, (Free FTE / Under-18)
Approximate duration 75 minutes
|Crucifixus est pro nobis||Antonio Lotti|
|Miserere mei||Francesco Scarlatti|
|Miserere mei||Gregorio Allegri|
|Stabat Mater dolorosa||Domenico Scarlatti|
Sally Ladds cello
Graham Thorpe organ
St Peter’s Singers
Alexander Woodrow director
Our ‘Music for Good Friday’ series resumes after the pandemic with a programme of Italian music including Allegri’s famous Miserere.
The Miserere is a setting of Psalm 51 – ‘Have mercy upon me O God after thy great goodness’. Although it properly belongs to the previous day, its penitential nature makes it an entirely suitable response to the crucifixion of Christ. So the programme includes both the plainchant setting by Allegri and Francesco Scarlatti’s more elaborate version from the Baroque age.
The medieval poem Stabat Mater Dolorosa (‘The grieving mother stood weeping while her son hung on the cross’) has been set to music countless times. This setting, by Domenico Scarlatti, exploits all the richness of expression afforded by ten vocal parts and is one of the classics of the baroque period.
The programme is completed by Antonio Lotti’s famous 8-part setting of the text Crucifixus est prop nobis (‘He was crucified for us’).
Public parking is available on the street and in the car park opposite the Palace Hotel at the eastern end of Leeds Minster. There is also a large NCP car park next to Leeds Markets on the other side of the railway, and the John Lewis carpark slightly further away.
Italian Renaissance and Baroque music for Good Friday