Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri

Buxtehude: Membra Jesu Nostri
The Chapel Choir of Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Orpheus Britannicus, Newe Vialles, Andrew Arthur (director)
Resonus Classics RES10238. 70’17

Buxtehude’s cycle of seven cantatas, under the collective title of Membra Jesu nostri patientis sanctissima, is one of the finest sacred vocal works of the 17th-century. It reflects on The holy limbs of our suffering Jesus, using texts from the Medieval hymn Salve mundi salutare, probably written by Arnulf of Leuven (d1250). Each cantata focusses on a specific part of Christ’s crucified body: feet, knees, hands, sides, breast, heart, and face, adding to the hymn text words from the Bible. It is composed for five solo singers, who usually also make up a chorus although, in this case, the chorus is the 24-strong Chapel Choir of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, conducted by Andrew Arthur, the Director of Music at Trinty Hall. They are accompanied by the College’s professional period ensemble Ensemble-in-Residence, Orpheus Britannicus (founded by Andrew Arthur), with the five viols of Newe Vialles (directed by Henrik Persson and Caroline Ritchie) playing for the sensuous sixth cantata, Ad cor (To The Heart). Continue reading

Richard Campbell 60th Birthday Celebration

Richard Campbell 60th Birthday Celebration
Tregye Festival Players, Newe Vialles, Peter Harvey
Guildhall School of Music & Drama. 25 February 2016

RC1It was a mark of the respect that the viola da gamba player, Richard Campbell, is held that so many people came to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama to celebrate his 60th birthday. The evening also marked the presentation to the Guildhall School of a Lirone and a Bandorra from Richard’s own collection, both to be made available to any young musician for study and performance. The choice of two such unusual instruments was a nice reflection of Richard’s wide-ranging musical interests. Continue reading