The Sixteen’s Choral Pilgrimage is a powerful and emotional programme of English choral music. Centred around Hubert Parry’s heartfelt Songs of Farewell, the tour also explores music by Campion, Howells, and award-winning composer Cecilia McDowall.
Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell must surely rank among some of the finest choral works ever written. Deeply affected by the First World War, Parry sought poetry that would reflect not only peace and unity and the search for a better world, but also an escape from the horrors of war.
The poems Parry chose to set are sublime, be they metaphysical poetry by John Donne and Henry Vaughan or the aching beauty of Thomas Campion’s verse. Perfectly complementing the rich sonority of Parry’s Songs are three short pieces by Campion, a selection of medieval carols and a new work by Cecilia McDowall.
Parry Songs of Farewell
mediaeval carol Deo gracias, Anglia
mediaeval carol Saint Thomas honour we
mediaeval carol O blessed Lord
mediaeval carol Benedicite Deo
Cecilia McDowall An Unexpected Shore
Campion Never, weather-beaten sail
Campion Author of light
Campion Tune thy music to thy heart
Howells Take him, earth for cherishing