April 2019: Last Words
Four concerts presented by RESURGAM and the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
Lisdoonvarna, Newport, Clifden and Galway
Programme to include Heinrich Schütz ‘The Seven Last Words from the Cross’ and works by Johann Schein, Michael Praetorius and Orlandus Lassus.
Sublime final utterances in seventeenth century music for voices and instruments
Corpus Christi Church,
Monday 15th April, 20.00
with guest choir The Lismorahaun Singers
St Patrick’s Church,
Wednesday 17th April, 20.00
with guest choir Cor Mhaigh Eo
St Joseph’s Church,
Thursday 18th April, 13.00
Collegiate Church of St Nicholas,
Good Friday 19th April, 17.00
with guest choir Collegium
Tickets €15/€10 concession
Heinrich Schütz (1885-1672): Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz SWV 478
Schütz: Herr nun lässest du deinen Diener (from Musikalisches Exequien) SWV 281
Schütz: Selig sind die Toten SWV 391
Schütz: Das ist je gewisslich wahr SWV 277
Johann Schein (1586-1630): Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir
Michael Praetorius (c1571-1621): Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir
Orlandus Lassus (c1530-1594): De profundis clamavi (from Psalmi Davidis poenitentiales)
Each of the four concerts includes most of the above works in different combinations (Schütz Die Sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz is performed in all programmes). The concerts in Lisdoonvarna and Newport will also include a short selection of pieces from the local choirs’ own repertoires.
Last Words is directed by Mark Duley, and spans the first four months of 2019, with four concerts taking place in mid-April in venues in counties Clare, Mayo and Galway. The project is a collaboration between Resurgam and three local choirs, each supported by local authorities and/or promoters. During the week leading to the concerts there will be an intensive workshop rehearsal with each local choir as well as an initial introductory rehearsal earlier in the year.
The project delivers on Resurgam’s twin ideals of Inspiration and Revelation. It centres on venues in the west of Ireland which hitherto have had few if any performances by professional choral ensembles.
It opens up both familiar and lesser-known repertoire from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, shining a light on composers who shaped the future of music generally (especially Heinrich Schütz). It revives the illuminating practice of instruments playing the individual vocal lines of Renaissance polyphony, either with or instead of the singer, leading to the seventeenth century ideal of instruments imitating the human voice (as espoused in the many treatises of the time).
The programme is designed and scored to give maximum opportunity for ornamentation and improvisation by both singers and players. Through partnerships with local choirs, it shares the knowledge and skills of Resurgam singers and players with a broad spectrum of choral singers along the western seaboard.
This programme reflects the time of year, with music from the golden and relatively unknown period of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. It takes its title from Heinrich Schütz’s beautiful setting of the last words of Christ on the cross: Die sieben Worte Jesu Christi am Kreuz. Also in the programme are settings of other texts, both in German and Latin, associated with death and final utterances: the canticle Nunc dimittis and the funeral psalm De profundis, in versions by Schein, Lassus (from his monumental Psalmi Davidis poenitentiales), Praetorius and Schütz again (from the famous Musikalische Exequien).
Resurgam continues its ground-breaking work in presenting this repertoire with instruments and voices playing equal roles. Under the direction of Mark Duley, an ensemble of six voices (SSATTB) and seven instruments will include virtuoso period wind The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and be underpinned by the unique sonorities of an Italian-made organo di legno – an organ made entirely of wood (including open 8’ rank).
Each concert features an associate choir from the locality, which will take part in some of the above works as well as in some cases singing other works from their own repertoire which fit with the overall theme and open up possibilities for new performing approaches through the workshops with Resurgam musicians.
By the time of the concert, each choir will have had two initial rehearsals with Resurgam director and a Resurgam artistic associate (a singer or player drawn from the ensemble), followed by an extended workshop/rehearsal with Resurgam artistic director and consort of voices and instruments.
The associate choirs for this project are:
- Cor Maigh Eo (directed by Brian Lennon), based in Newport, Co Mayo
- Lismorahaun Singers (directed by Ronan De Burca) based in Lismorahaun, Co Clare
- Collegium (the flagship chamber choir of St Nicholas Schola Cantorum) which has its home in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Galway.