Choir of Clare College, Cambridge

Friday 23 June, 7.30pm

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Choir of Clare College Cambridge at Thaxted Festival

Graham Ross, Director of Music
Samuel Jones, Daniel Blaze, organ

Herbert Howells Hymn to St Cecilia
Ralph Vaughan Williams O Clap your Hands
William Byrd Mass for Four Voices
Sergei Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil (including Vespers)

Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1972, the Choir of Clare College Cambridge has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university choirs. In addition to its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College chapel, the Choir keeps up an active schedule recording, broadcasting, and performing. Under the direction of Graham Ross, Director of Music since 2010, it has been praised for its consistently ‘thrilling’ and ‘outstanding’ performances worldwide. Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices is probably the first of the three great unaccompanied polyphonic Mass settings he composed in the 1590s. It is sung here in the 400th anniversary year of his death. Howell’s dancing Hymn to St Cecilia honours the patron saint of music, while Vaughan Williams’ motet composed in 1920 sets verses of Psalm 47. In the 150th anniversary year of Rachmaninov’s birth, his hauntingly beautiful unaccompanied All-Night Vigil, including the Vespers movement, fills the whole of the second part of the evening’s programme.

'The icing on the cake is the mixed-voice choral singing itself: the clean-toned freshness of the female sopranos, balancing against the warmth and depth of the overall sound; articulation crisp and warm in equal measure, and always with a beautiful feel for the texts themselves.'
Review of ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ recording 2020,

This concert is sponsored by friends of Thaxted Festival who wish to remain anonymous.