Spitalfields Music: Christmas with the Shepherds

Spitalfields Music: Christmas with the Shepherds
The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery
St Leonard’s, Shoreditch. 14 December 2015

Cover_Christmas_With_The_Shepherds_266For their Spitalfields Festival debut, The Marian Consort brought their programme ‘Christmas with the Shepherds’ (based on last year’s CD release) to St Leonard’s, Shoreditch at the conclusion of a national tour. In a very well conceived and planned programme, they traced the influence of Jean Mouton on composers of the following century, notably Cristóbel de Morales, whose Missa Quaeramus cum pastoribus formed the nucleus of the programme. After the opening motet Alma Redemptoris Mater by Victoria, the latest of the composers represented, we heard Mouton’s motet Quaeramus cum pastoribus, a work that stayed in the repertoire of the Sistine Chapel for more than 100  years and survives in 27 manuscripts and printed sources now to be found as far apart as Aberdeen and Guatemala. It is the best known of a series of ‘Noë’ motets found in the Sistine Chapel archive, the result of the Medici Pope Leo X whose after-dinner entertainment Continue reading

An Emerald in a Work of Gold

An Emerald in a Work of Gold
The Marian Consort
Delphian DCD34115. 72’49

An Emerald in a Work of GoldThere is a current trend of building CD and concert programmes on collections of pieces made by others, one example being the Marian Consort & Rose Consort of Viols CD ‘An Emerald in a Work of Gold’. The music was drawn from the Robert Dow partbooks, copied in the mid-1580s and now housed in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. As well as being a major source of music of the period (with 134 pieces), Dow’s manuscripts are fine examples of musical calligraphy. The music is indicated as being suitable for voices and viols, so the pairing of the Marian Consort and the Rose Consort is appropriate, the latter providing accompaniment for five solo songs as well as instrumental solos. Continue reading