Tallis Festival 2016

12-14 February 2016

The Unicorn in Captivity https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AUnicorn_in_Captivity.jpg

40/60-part mass ‘Ecco sì beato giorno’


Unicornis captivatur

O nata lux de lumine

Exmoor Singers invites you to take part in Tallis Festival 2016 – a concentrated and exhilarating weekend of music-making in London, culminating in a concert on the evening of Sunday 14 February 2016. In a break with tradition, we are not including Spem in alium this year, to allow us time to do full justice to Alessandro Striggio’s recently-discovered 40/60-part mass ‘Ecco sì beato giorno’. Duruflé’s Requiem is the other major work. Music Director James Jarvis’s pick this year is Unicornis captivatur, a modern take on a fascinating medieval text by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. And Tallis still gets a look-in with O nata lux de lumine. For further details follow these in-page links:

Outline timetable
Application form
Tell your friends
Audio links
Music Director’s notes

Outline timetable

Friday 12 February 2016 (optional, 6-9.30pm)
Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College, South Kensington SW7 2AZ – no 33 on this location map (opens in new window)
6pm registration, coffee, collection of music
6.30-9.30pm rehearsal with break

Saturday 13 February 2016 (9am-7pm +)
Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College, South Kensington SW7 2AZ
9-10am registration, coffee, collection of music
10am-1pm & 2.30-7pm rehearsals with breaks
7.30-10.30pm PARTY

Sunday 14 February 2016 (9.30am-9.30pm)
St Andrew Holborn EC4A 3ABlocation map (opens in new window)
9.30-10am coffee
10am-1pm & 2.30-5.30pm rehearsals with breaks
7.30-9.30pm CONCERT

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We’re able to offer the same participation fee as last year, so Tallis Festival 2016 is just as good value as ever.

Participation fee
Standard: £70.00
Friends of Exmoor Singers: £40.00
Student: £10.00

Duruflé (Durand): buy £27.50, hire £3.50
Striggio (Early Music Company): hire £3.00 (copies are in parts, so not available to buy)
Gjeilo (Walton Music): buy £3.50 (no hire copies available)
Tallis (Chester): buy £2.00, hire £1.00

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Application form

To reserve your place, complete and submit the Tallis Festival 2016 Application Form online (opens in new window). Once submitted, you will receive an email summarising your booking with details of how to pay. Your place will be confirmed once payment is received. If you have any questions, please email info@exmoorsingers.org

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Invite your friends

We’re always happy to welcome new singers so if you know of anyone who might like to take part in Tallis Festival 2016 please use this flyer (pdf, opens in new window) or tweet this page:

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Audio links to YouTube

Striggio 40/60-part mass
Duruflé Requiem
Gjeilo Unicornis captivatur
Tallis O nata lux

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Music Director’s notes

I’m thrilled with this programme and cannot wait to work on it with you.

Solo/semichorus opportunities may exist in the Striggio, Duruflé and Gjeilo numbers. Details will be sent to all registered participants in early January.

Tallis is represented this time by his jewel O nata lux de lumine, which will be familiar to many – not by Spem! This is a first and enables us to include, by popular demand following the successful quarter-centenary workshop, the celebrated…

… Striggio 40/60-part mass [NB: this is not the better-known motet Ecce beatam lucem but a recent discovery]. There was an enjoyable run-through of this remarkable piece in June and, as many said at the time, we really must exploit the opportunity to build on it and show it to the public. Further information and links to other resources.

To my astonishment it is nearly nine years since we’ve done the Duruflé Requiem. Needless to say, this evergreen favourite will provide us with relaxation over the weekend and the audience with the substantial core of our closing concert on 14 February 2016.

I have seldom come across a piece so suited to the Tallis Festival as Gjeilo’s Unicornis captivatur of 2001. This work is entirely new to me, it provides the theme of the weekend, and I’m indecently excited by it. I’m calling it ‘The Unicorn in Captivity’ – I’m aware of the grammatical issues and would encourage the classically-informed to grapple with them. Bear in mind it’s medieval Latin of the Carmina Burana era; but it’s quite important because of its implications for the deep symbolism of this fascinating text. Listen to this wonderful piece.


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