Monday, 12 October 2015

Introduction to our new concert series 2015/16

YBC have already started rehearsing for the first concert of what promises to be another fantastic year of music-making in York.  This year our programme of concerts covers a huge range of  composers and musical epochs including Allegri, Byrd, Tallis, Gesualdo, Bairstow, Wood, Harris, Haydn, Victoria, Vaughan Williams, Howells, Tippett, Finzi, Monteverdi, Croce, Clinio and, of course, J.S. Bach!

In an exciting new venture we will open our season on the 31 October 2015 with a concert entitled ‘Blessed City: Lamentations and Light’ which is part of the Illuminating York Festival.  Taking place on All Hallow’s Eve (‘Halloween’) our concert will hopefully be a musical counterpoint to the amazing light installations going on around the city. The theme of our concert takes some of our inspiration from Nayan Kulkarni’s ‘Three Graces’ installation which will see  flickering candles appear outside St Michael le Belfrey projected from the building's lantern.

Projection of Nayan Kulkarni's 'Three Graces' outside St Michael le Belfrey

The atmosphere in York over the evenings of the festival is always particularly special as thousands of people come into the city centre to see the illuminations. This atmosphere will transfer into the calm interior of St Michael le Belfrey where, beginning in semi-darkness, our programme will range from the renowned Allegri: Miserere written for Sistine Chapel in Rome, to the tortured and harmonically audacious music of Gesualdo: Tenebrae Responses.  

The second half which focus on the English music of Thomas Tallis with the majestic sonorities of his two Lamentation settings before a switch to the more late Romantic and twentieth century sound world of Edward Bairstow, Charles Wood and William Harris.  The Lamentation by Bairstow will be of particular interest to York audiences as it was written during the Second World War for the Dean of York Minster and has a wonderful, haunting simplicity. The concert ends in uplifting fashion with the golden, sumptuous harmonies of William Harris: Faire is the Heaven and the ecstatic glow of Charles Wood: Hail Gladdening Light.

By coincidence, the birth of light is a notable in the iconic opening of our second concert of the season as we perform Haydn’s celebrated Creation as part of the York Early Music Festival on Saturday 5 December at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall (University of York).  2016 begins with a programme of Victoria motets and psalms on 6 February and continues the mouthwatering opportunity on 12 March to hear three separate JS Bach masterpieces (Easter & Ascension Oratorios & Mass in G minor).  Spring continues with a programme of Songs and Elegies of the English Romantics (including music by Vaughan Williams, Howells, Finzi and Tippett) on 7 May and our final summer concert on 18 June finds brings Italian sunshine with a concert featuring the music of Monteverdi and Croce. The music of Giovanni Croce and Teodoro Clinio is specially edited for this concert and it seems that this will be the first time since the 17th century that much of the music will have been heard.   


Full details of ticket prices and season subscriptions can be found on our website. Alongside the usual reduced prices for full and concessionary seasons ticket holders those under 30 can for the first time this year take advantage of our Under 30s Season ticket which allows access to all six concerts for just £60.

All our concerts (except for the December concert of Creation at the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall) are performed in the glorious surroundings of St Michael le Belfrey a historic church which is right in the heart of York beside York Minster.

The opening concert Blessed City: Lamentations and Light takes places at St Michael le Belfrey York and starts at 7.30pm on Saturday 20 June. Tickets priced at £18 (£16 concessions) are available here or on the door.

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Twitter: @YorksBachChoir 
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