â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think last night we heard the gold standard... A superb choir physically separated but spiritually and musically indivisible.â&#x20AC;? The Times
#tenebraeunlocked | www.tenebrae-choir.com Tenebrae
The programmes we have chosen reflect much of the music that Tenebrae has performed and recorded over the last 20 years, and include one or two works which deserve to be far better-known than they are. We hope you will enjoy the sequences I have put together, performed just as we would hope to sing them in concert – albeit social distancing regulations kept us from moving around the church as we tend to do in live performance! I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved in this project. Musicians and crew brought so much energy and enthusiasm to every single shoot, in spite of the tough conditions. Crucially, I would like to thank each and every person who donated through our crowdfunding campaign, as well as those who offer ongoing support. This simply would not have been possible without you. The initial aim of these films is to offer people the chance to see, hear and experience Tenebrae while we are unable to travel due to the pandemic. However, a lot of love and care went into the creation of Tenebrae Unlocked, and I hope that they will continue to delight, soothe and inspire people around the world for years to come. Please join us as we sing this beautiful music, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the very near future.
Nigel Short Artistic Director
© Sim Canetty-Clarke
I am delighted to introduce Tenebrae Unlocked, a new series of short concerts filmed in October in the church of St Augustine’s Kilburn. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Cathedral of North London’, this beautiful space is very familiar to Tenebrae – it has an incredibly fine acoustic for vocal music, not to mention its aweinspiring architecture. As I write this introduction in November 2020, the UK has recently entered its second national lockdown in response to the COVID19 pandemic. After a very difficult year, it was an immense joy to be able to spend three days working with our wonderful singers and a world-class production team on this stunning series of films.
PROGRAMME MUSICA DEI DONUM – page 4 Click here to purchase your ticket for Musica Dei donum. Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) Orlando di Lassus (c.1530 - 1594) William Byrd (c.1530 - 1594) Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1530 - 1594)
If ye love me Musica Dei donum optimi Ne irasacaris Domine O vos omnes Taedet anima mea
BRAHMS & BRUCKNER MOTETS – page 8 Click here to purchase your ticket for Brahms & Bruckner. Max Reger (1873 - 1916) Anton Bruckner (1822 - 1890) Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) Anton Bruckner Max Reger
Der Mensch lebt und bestehet Os justi Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk Virga Jesse Nachtlied
RUSSIAN TREASURES – page 12 Click here to purchase your ticket for Russian Treasures. Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) Viktor Kalinnikov (1870 - 1927) Pavel Chesnokov (1877 - 1944) Sergei Rachmaninov Pavel Chesnokov Nikolay Kedrov (1871 - 1940)
Bogoroditse devo Svete tihiy Tebe poyem Heruvimskaya pesn Svete tihiy Otche nash
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES – page 16 Click here to purchase your ticket for Music of the Spheres. Philip Moore (b.1943) Judith Bingham (b.1952) Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 - 1924)
Three Prayers (No.s I & III) The Drowned Lovers The Blue Bird
MUSICA DEI DONUM Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) Orlando di Lassus (c.1530 - 1594) William Byrd (c.1530 - 1594) Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1530 - 1594)
If ye love me Musica Dei donum optimi Ne irasacaris Domine O vos omnes from Responsories for Holy Saturday Taedet anima mea from Requiem Mass, 1605
It is striking that of Thomas Tallis’ output, his two best-known pieces should contrast so drastically in scale and technical ambition. Unlike the monumental forty-part Spem in alium, Tallis’ If ye love me is a masterpiece in miniature. Setting the words of Christ from John’s Gospel, this simple motet was first published during the reign of Elizabeth I in 1565 and is typical for its ABB structure and transparent four-part texture, prioritising clarity of text in order to abide by Edward VI’s reformed rites. The ‘comforter’ promised in If ye love me is echoed in Lassus’ Musica Dei donum optimi, which speaks of music as ‘affording solace to all’ with the power to tame wild souls and tend to saddened minds. This timely sentiment is portrayed in stunning six-part polyphony throughout, with the same motif on ‘musica’ returning on each repetition, emphasising that it is the same music of God and man that also moves the trees and the wild beasts. Rousing climaxes are followed by reductions in texture which themselves build towards the next harmonic horizon via characteristically fruity counterpoint. This sense of ebb and flow could just as easily refer to the polyphony of William Byrd, whose Ne irascaris Domine begins with a reference to a chanson – O doux regard – by Lassus’ compatriot Philip van Wilder. The most famous of Byrd’s so-called Jerusalem motets published in his 1589 Liber Sacrarum Cantionum, Ne irascaris Domine is in two parts, both equal in their simultaneous introspection and capacity to express the raw emotion of the text. Byrd’s heartfelt rendering of words – which carried a particular meaning in his own time – ring true today anew with their lamentation of cities that have become deserted and desolate, and the solidarity portrayed in the line ‘populus tuus omnes nos’ (we are all thy people). The call of ‘Ecce, respice’ in Ne irascaris has its parallel in O vos omnes from Tomás Luis de Victoria’s settings of the Responsories for Holy Saturday. Here, the word ‘attendite’ calls the passers-by to notice and observe our sorrow. Like Lassus, Victoria spent time in Rome where he arrived aged just seventeen in 1565 and lived for over twenty years. His Tenebrae Responsories were published in 1585, shortly before the return to his native Spain and – also like Lassus’ own set – consist of eighteen pieces: three sets of six Nocturns for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The sorrow expressed in O vos omnes is embodied fully in the opening Lesson from Victoria’s Missa pro defunctis of 1605. Homophonic in texture and in only four parts compared to the six that follow in the Requiem itself, Taedet
anima mea has the feel of a hymn-like prologue, requiring utmost precision and careful inflection of the text to draw out its stresses with unanimity. Usually the prequel to the unfolding of a masterpiece, this simple piece now takes on a new role as it closes this programme of reflection and solidarity. © Tom Herring
Texts and translations Thomas Tallis (1505 - 1585) – If ye love me If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, And he shall give you another comforter, That he may ‘bide with you forever; E’en the sp’rit of truth. Text: John 14:15-17 Orlando di Lassus (c.1530 - 1594) – Musica Dei donum optimi, Op. 471 Musica Dei donum optimi Music, the gift of the supreme God, trahit homines, trahit deos: draws men, draws gods; Musica truces mollit animos music makes savage souls gentle tristesque mentes erigit. and uplifts sad minds; Musica vel ipsas arbores music moves the trees themselves et horridas movet feras and wild beasts, cunctisque solatia prestans. affording solace to all. Text: Anonymous William Byrd (c.1539 - 1693) – Ne irascaris Ne irascaris, Domine, satis et ne ultra memineris iniquitatis nostrae. Ecce, respice, populus tuus omnes nos. Civitas sancti tui facta est deserta. Sion deserta facta est, Jerusalem desolata est. Text: Isaiah 64 v. 9
Be not angry, O Lord, still, neither remember our iniquity for ever. Behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. The holy cities are a wilderness. Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548 - 1611) – O vos omnes from Responsories for Holy Saturday O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite O all you that pass by the way, attend and see, et videte si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus. if there be any sorrow like my sorrow. Verso. Attendite universi populi, dolorem Verse. Watch, all you people, and see my meum. sorrow. Text adapted from Lamentations 1:12 Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548 - 1611) – Taedet anima mea from Requiem Mass, 1605 Taedet animam meam vitae meae, My soul is weary of my life; dimittam adversum me eloquium meum, I will let go my speech against myself, loquar in amaritudine animae meae. and express the bitterness in my soul. Dicam Deo: Noli me condemnare: I shall say to God: Do not condemn me, indica mihi, cur me ita iudices. but show me why Thou judgest me in this manner. Numquid bonum tibi videtur, si calumnieris, el opprimas me, opus manuum tuarum, et consilium impiorum adiuves? Numquid oculi carnei tibi sunt: aut sicut videt homo, et tu vides? Numquid sicut dies hominis dies tui, et anni tui sicut humana sunt tempora, ut quaeras iniquitatem meam, et peccatum meum scruteris? Et scias, quia nihil impium fecerim, cum sit nemo, qui de manu tua possit eruere.
Shall it seem a good thing to Thee to cheapen me and oppress me, the work of Thine own hands, and to support the schemes of the wicked? Are Thine eyes of flesh? Dost Thou even see only as men do? Is Thy life like the life of men, and do Thy years pass like the days of men, that Thou shouldst enquire after my iniquity, and investigate my sins? Surely Thou knowest that I have done no wrong and there is no man that can deliver me from Thy hand.
Text taken from the Requiem Mass.
With thanks to Mapa Mundi for granting us permission to perform from their editions of works by Tomás Luis de Victoria.
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BRAHMS & BRUCKNER MOTETS Max Reger (1873 - 1916) Anton Bruckner (1822 - 1890) Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) Anton Bruckner Max Reger
Der Mensch lebt und bestehet, Op. 138, No. 1 Os justi, WAB30 Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk, Op. 109, No. 3 Virga Jesse, WAB52 Nachtleid Op.138, No. 5
In 2015 we were lucky to work with recording engineer Andrew Mellor on a disc of Brahms and Bruckner’s motets. It was Andrew who conceived of the project, and it is dedicated to the memory of his own father and to Barbara Pollock, one of Tenebrae’s original founders, both of whom sadly died of cancer in the years immediately preceding the recording. A portion of the proceeds from this disc are donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, and we are delighted that the recording remains very popular with audiences around the world. In this programme for Tenebrae Unlocked, we have combined three of the pieces from this disc with two motets by the German composer Max Reger – a long-time favourite of Nigel’s. It is a particular pleasure to be working with Andrew again on these films. The first in his set of Acht geistliche Gesänge, Reger’s double choir Der Mensch lebt und bestehet addresses the dichotomy between the ‘kleine Zeit’ (short time) of human life and the eternity of God’s omnipresence. Composed in 1914, these pieces are in Reger’s self-titled ‘new simplicity’ and are technically conservative when compared to much of his other choral output. However, their simplicity affords them a transparent beauty which is captured in Der Mensch, with its introspective atmosphere and glassy chromaticism. This sense of transparency is also captured in Bruckner’s Os justi, composed in 1879 and dedicated to Ignaz Traumihler of St Florian’s Priory. Here – in marked contrast to Reger’s chromatically inflected harmonic language – Bruckner sets the words of Psalm 37 in the Lydian Mode throughout. This gives the music a timeless serenity, particularly through the revised fugal passage from ‘et lingua eius’ (and his tongue) with its effortlessly strict counterpoint. After returning to the material from the opening with its remarkable cascading sequence, Bruckner dwells on the words ‘in corde’ (in their heart), passing it round the voices before settling on a dominant pedal in the basses. This is followed by a focused and meditative setting of the final line (‘and his footsteps will not be distracted’) with a chantlike melody in the sopranos.
The faithful diligence of Os justi carries into Johannes Brahms’ Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk from his Fest- und Gedenksprüche, composed between 1886-88, with its call to ‘bewahre deine Seele wohl’ (keep your soul well). Similar in texture to Reger’s Der Mensch, Brahms’ double choir writing is more overtly antiphonal with the two choirs moving in dialogue throughout, coalescing to articulate key moments in the text and for cadential figures. The final piece of the set, Wo ist closes with a soaring and expansive Amen, matched in Brahms’ choral writing perhaps only by the closing bars of his well-known Geistliches Lied. Practically contemporaneous with the Brahms, Bruckner’s Virga Jesse was composed in 1885 with its first performance in the Weiner Hofmusikkapelle on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in the same year. In striking contrast to Os justi, Bruckner’s harmony here is highly chromatic which, combined with the impetus and dynamism of his symphonic writing, makes this a dramatic and highly charged piece. The power of Virga Jesse dissipates into the reflective and internal world of Reger’s hauntingly beautiful Nachtlied. Also, from his Acht geistliche Gesänge, this prayer is chorale-like in its five-part texture with poignant sensitivity and space given to the text. It is tragically fitting that the proofs of this set were found at Reger’s bedside in the hotel where he died suddenly of a heart attack on 11 May 1916. © Tom Herring
Texts and translations Max Reger (1873 - 1916) – Der Mensch lebt und bestehet, Op. 138, No. 1 Der Mensch lebt und bestehet Man can live and thrive Nur eine kleine Zeit; only for a short time. Und alle Welt vergehet The whole world shall perish Mit ihrer Herrlichkeit. with all its splendour and fame. Es ist nur Einer ewig und an allen Enden, Only One is eternal and omnipresent, Und wir in Seinen Händen. and we are in His possession. Text: Matthias Claudius (1740-1815) Anton Bruckner (1822 - 1890) – Os justi, WAB30 Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, The mouth of the just is exercised in wisdom, et lingua eius loquetur judicium. and his tongue will be talking of judgement: the Lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius et non law of his God is in his heart, and his footsteps supplantabuntur gressus ejus. Alleluia. will not be distracted. Alleluia. Text: Psalm 37:30
Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897) – Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk, Op. 109, No. 3 Wo ist ein so herrlich Volk, zu dem Götter For what great nation is there that has a god so also nahe sich tun als der Herr, unser Gott, so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever oft wir ihn anrufen. we call upon him? Hüte dich nur und bewahre deine Seele Only take heed, and keep your souls diligently, wohl,dass du nicht vergessest der lest you forget the things which your eyes have Geschichten, seen, die deinen Augen gesehen haben, and lest they depart from your heart all the days und dass sie nicht aus deinem Herzen of your life; kommen alle dein Leben lang, Und sollst deinen Kindern und Make them known to your children and to your Kindeskindern kundtun. Amen. children’s children. Amen. Text: Deuteronomy 4,7,9 Anton Bruckner (1822 - 1890) – Virga Jesse, WAB52 Virga Jesse floruit: The rod of Jesse hath blossomed: Virgo Deum et hominem genuit: a Virgin hath brought forth God and man: pacem Deus reddidit, God hath restored peace, in se reconcilians ima summis. reconciling in Himself the lowest with the Alleluja. highest. Alleluia. Text: Philippians 2, 8-9 Max Reger (1873 - 1916) – Nachtleid, Op.138, No. 5 Die Nacht ist kommen, The night has fallen, Drin wir ruhen sollen; And we should rest; Gott walt's, zum Frommen God is there, to care for us Nach sein'm Wohlgefallen, By his good will, Daß wir uns legen So that we settle In sein'm G'leit und Segen, In his company and blessing Der Ruh' zu pflegen. To maintain the peace. Treib, Herr, von uns fern Die unreinen Geister, Sei selbst unser Schutzherr, Schirm beid Leib und Seel' Unter deine Flügel,
Father, drive the evil spirits from us; Keep the night watch; Be our protector; Shield both body and soul Under your wings;
Send' uns dein' Engel!
Send us your angels!
Lass uns einschlafen Mit guten Gedanken, Fröhlich aufwachen Und von dir nicht wanken; Lass uns mit Züchten Unser Tun und Dichten Zu dein'm Preis richten!
Let us go to sleep With good thoughts, Happily wake And never waver from you; Let us, with rearing Focus our deeds and words On your glory!
Text: Petrus Herbert (c.1530-1571) Sopranos
“What superb singing: technically immaculate, somehow lucid and voluptuously beautiful at the same time.” -BBC Music Magazine Tenebrae’s BBC Magazine Award-winning recording of Brahms & Bruckner for Signum Classics includes the motets featured in Tenebrae Unlocked. Profits from the sale of this disc benefit Macmillan Cancer Support. Available at www.tenebrae-choir.com/shop
© Chris O’Donovan
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) Viktor Kalinnikov (1870 - 1927) Pavel Chesnokov (1877 - 1944) Sergei Rachmaninov Pavel Chesnokov Nikolay Kedrov (1871 - 1940)
Bogoroditse devo from All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 Svete tihiy Tebe poyem Heruvimskaya pesn from All-Night Vigil Op. 37 Svete tihiy Otche nash
While travelling in Russia in the early nineties, Nigel became captivated by the intense spirituality of the Russian Orthodox Liturgy – in particular, the powerful and mystical effect it has when combined with the gloriously sonorous music sung so beautifully by the Russian choirs. Combing old music shops, he began to build up a collection of scores not only from the renowned and celebrated composers, but also some more obscure names largely unheard-of outside Russia. Russian choral music has featured in Tenebrae’s programming ever since, and we wanted to feature some of this exquisite music as part of Tenebrae Unlocked. We begin with what is perhaps Sergei Rachmaninov’s most famous choral piece, the sixth movement from his All-Night Vigil, Bogoroditse devo (Rejoice, O Virgin). Opening with a gentle meandering texture in four parts, the music gives way to an alto lead in thirds, framed by sopranos and tenors in octaves. This glassy texture grows in the space of a single bar into a full-blown fortissimo tutti before melting back to a soft ending. Much less well-known by comparison, Viktor Kalinnikov’s Svete tihiy (Gladsome Light) is textled, moving with the speech rhythm of the words in predominantly homophonic textures. Whilst still religious in overall idiom and scope, there is a litheness to the writing that hints at a more rustic music, particularly through the almost jaunty setting of ‘Dostoin yesi vo fsia vremana’. This colour is immediately contrasted by the deep and sombre opening of Pavel Chesnokov’s Tebe poyem (We Hymn Thee) with its lower octaves in the basses. Beginning in B minor, the music soon modulates to the warmth and comfort of D major where it remains until the end. The calm stasis of the music draws the listener into this prayer of thanks and praise. Out of this stillness comes the gentle movement of Rachmaninov’s Herumvimskaya pesn (Cherubic Hymn), also from the All-Night Vigil. As in Bogoroditse devo, the gentle beginning is offset by an explosion of sound – also triggered by the word ‘Yako’ – now with heightened rhythmic urgency reflecting the excitement in the text at the reception of the ‘King of All’.
Following a gradual dissipation of energy, the concluding Alleluia passage is one of the most striking moments of the entire Vespers with its apparent refusal to end. The upper three parts seem to wind on for eternity before the tenors finally settle beneath ascending lines in both soprano and alto parts. In contrast to Kalinnikov’s setting of the same text, Chesnokov’s Svete tihiy is for two choirs of upper voices. Despite this difference in scoring, this version also relies on the text to provide rhythmic impetus, giving the piece a mesmeric chanting momentum. This feeling is carried into the final piece in the programme, Nikolai Kedrov’s setting of the Lord’s prayer, Otche nash. A hushed rapture invites us to share in this humble meditation: a fitting end to our programme of Russian treasures. © Tom Herring
Texts and translations Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) – Bogoroditse Devo from All-Night Vigil, Op. 37 Bogoroditse Devo, raduysia, Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, blagodat na ya Mariye, Ghospod s To boyu; Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. blagoslovenna Tï v zhenah, Blessed art thou among women, i blagosloven Plod chreva Tvoyego, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, yako Spasa rodila yesi dush nashïh. for thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls. Text: Ave Maria Viktor Kalinnikov (1870 - 1927) – Svete tihiy Svete tihiy sviatïya slavï Bezsmertnago Ottsa Nebesnago, Sviatago, Blazhennago, Iisuse Hriste! Prishedshe na zapad solntsa, videvshe svet vecherniy, poyem Ottsa, Sïna i Sviatago Duha, Boga.
Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the Immortal One - the Heavenly Father, holy and blessed - O Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and behold the light of evening, we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-God.
Dostoin yesi vo fsia vremena pet bïti glasï prepodobnïmi; Sïne Bozhïy, zhïvot dayay, temzhe mir Tia slavit.
Thou art worthy at every moment to be praised in hymns by reverent voices. O Son of God, Thou art the Giver of Life; therefore, all the world glorifies Thee.
Pavel Chesnokov (1877 - 1944) – Tebe poyem Tebe poyem, Tebe blagoslovim, Tebe blagodarim, Ghospodi, i molimtisia, Bozhe nash.
We hymn Thee, we bless Thee, we give thanks to Thee, O Lord, and we pray unto Thee, O our God.
Text from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) – Heruvimskaya pesn from All-Night Vigil Op. 37 Izhe heruvimï tayno obrazuyushche, i Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, zhïvotvoriashchey Troitse and who sing the thrice-holy trisviatuyu pesn pripevayushche, hymn to the life-creating Trinity, fsiakoye nïne zhïteyskoye otlozhïm now lay aside all cares of this life. popecheniye. Amin. Amen. Yako da Tsaria fseh podïmem, That we may receive the King of All, Angelskimi nevidimo dorinosima chinmi. who comes invisibly upborne by the angelic host. Alliluiya, alliluiya, alliluiya. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Pavel Chesnokov (1877 - 1944) – Svete tihiy Svete tihiy sviatïya slavï Bezsmertnago Ottsa Nebesnago, Sviatago, Blazhennago, Iisuse Hriste! Prishedshe na zapad solntsa, videvshe svet vecherniy, poyem Ottsa, Sïna i Sviatago Duha, Boga. Dostoin yesi vo fsia vremena pet bïti glasï prepodobnïmi; Sïne Bozhïy, zhïvot dayay, temzhe mir Tia slavit.
Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the Immortal One, the Heavenly Father, holy and blessed O Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and behold the light of evening, we praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit God. Thou art worthy at every moment to be praised in hymns by reverent voices. O Son of God, Thou art the Giver of Life; therefore, all the world glorifies Thee.
Nikolay Kedrov (1871 - 1940) – Otche nash Otche nash, Izhe yesi na nebeseh, da sviatitsia imia Tvoye, da priidet Tsarstviye Tvoye, da budet volia Tvoya, yako na nebesi i na zemli. Hleb nash nasushchnïy dazhd’ nam dnes’, i ostavi nam dolgi nasha, yakozhe i mï ostavliayem dolzhnikom nashïm: I ne vvedi nas vo iskusheniye, no izbavi nas ot lukavago.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.
Text: The Lord’s Prayer With thanks to Musica Russica for granting us permission to perform from their editions of works by Rachmaninov, Kalinnikov, and Chesnokov. Sopranos
“Tenebrae is the current master of the Russian sound.” - Classic FM All the Russian Orthodox works featured in Tenebrae Unlocked can be found on our recording ‘Russian Treasures’, along with little-known works by composers such as Tchaikovsky, Gretchaninov and Golovanov. Available at www.tenebrae-choir.com/shop
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES Philip Moore (b.1943)
Three Prayers I. Morning Prayers III. Evening Prayers
Judith Bingham (b.1952)
The Drowned Lovers Martha McLorinan (mezzo-soprano)
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 - 1924)
The Blue Bird, Op. 119
On 8 April 1945 the German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at Flossenbürg concentration camp, two weeks before its liberation by US forces. An outspoken opponent to the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer had been imprisoned for two years during which time he continued his work as a religious leader with his fellow prisoners and even several of his captors. The posthumous publication of his Letters and Papers from Prison reveal his remarkable faith combined with the fragile humanity of incarceration. Philip Moore’s setting of his words are in translation, making them immediately accessible to English-speaking audiences and lending them a universality beyond their original context. Morning Prayers expresses the dichotomy of inner turmoil and the peace of God through stark harmonic and textural contrasts with striking solo alto phrases punctuating the piece. A frantic middle section is followed by a return to the material of the opening, now with greater rhythmic urgency. This gradually subsides to a soft resignation: ‘whatever this day may bring’. The last in the set, Evening Prayers, takes its musical inspiration from the Advent chorale Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, one of Bonhoeffer’s favourite melodies. The tune is set in a fugal 5/4 passage with each voice part given moments to foreground the text. The result is a sense of levitation without harmonic grounding which is resolved with the onset of a soprano and baritone solo passage, accompanied by held chords in the lower parts. Finally, the full chorale texture is employed to set the closing text, ‘Into thy hands I commend my loved ones’. This humble submission becomes submersion in Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers, her watery prelude to Stanford’s simple part-song which follows. Scored for eight-part chorus and solo mezzo-soprano, The Drowned Lovers takes the listener to a hazy dreamworld with originally-composed text soaring over a murmuring choral texture. Rippling effects are occasionally punctuated by surfacing utterances of text from the choir, as if the lovers are not the only souls lost to these depths – blue in blue, cold and still. After a final descent to a low Db in the basses, we transition into the familiar sound-world of The Blue Bird. This brings comfort, but – now permeated with the narrative of The Drowned Lovers – also a fresh poignancy: the freedom of the bird is all the more liberating, its soaring underpinned by Stanford’s sumptuous setting of Mary Coleridge’s meditation on the simple beauty of nature. With its double sky, blue above and beneath, this mirror scene is a place of safety and true reflection. © Tom Herring
Texts and translations Philip Moore (b.1943) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (No.s I & III) I. Morning Prayers O God, early in the morning do I cry unto Thee. Help me to pray and to think only of Thee. I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness, but in Thee there is light. I am lonely but Thou leavest me not, I am feeble in heart but Thou leavest me not. I am restless, but with Thee there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with Thee there is patience. Thy ways are past understanding, but Thou knowest the way for me. O heav'nly Father, I praise and thank Thee for the peace of the night. I praise and thank Thee for this new day. I praise and thank Thee for all Thy goodness and faithfulness throughout my life. Thou hast granted me many blessings: now let me accept tribulation from thy hand. Thou wilt not lay on me more than I can bear. Thou makest all things work together for good for Thy children. Lord Jesus Christ, Thou wast poor and in misery, a captive and forsaken, as I am. Thou knowest all Man's distress, Thou abidest with me when all others have deserted me. Thou dost not forget me but seekest me; Thou willest that I should know Thee and turn to Thee. Lord, I hear Thy call and follow Thee: do Thou help me. Chiefly do I remember all my loved ones, my fellow prisoners and all who in this house perform their hard service. Lord, have mercy, restore me to liberty and enable me so to live now that I may answer before Thee and before the world. Lord, whatever this day may bring, Thy name be praised. III. Evening Prayers O Lord my God, I thank Thee that Thou hast brought this day to a close; I thank thee that Thou hast giv'n me peace in body and in soul. Thy hand has been over me and has protected and preserved me. Forgive my puny faith, the ill that I this day have done, and help me to forgive all who have wronged me. O Lord my God, grant me a quiet night's sleep beneath Thy tender care, and defend me from all the temptations of darkness. Into Thy hands I commend my loved ones and all who dwell in this house: I commend my body and soul: O God, Thy holy name be praised.
Text: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 - 1945) Judith Bingham (b.1952) – The Drowned Lovers Solo: Chorus: In the deepest reaches of the lake, Blue below I and my love do lie. Cold and still I clung to him, Beneath me and pulled him down Cold and still and so we both did die. Blue in blue His image Th’uncaring clear blue waters Cold and still over our heads did close, and shoals of fishes, sightlessly, in clouds around us rose. His pale green eyes were cold in death, his love had been a lie, but now we share a watery death, forever intertwined. Judith Bingham (b.1952)
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852 - 1924) – The Blue Bird, Op.119 The lake lay blue below the hill, o’er it, as I looked, there flew across the waters, cold and still, a bird whose wings were palest blue. The sky above was blue at last, the sky beneath me blue in blue, a moment, ere the bird had passed, it caught his image as he flew. Text: Mary Coleridge (1861-1907) Sopranos Victoria Meteyard Katie Trethewey Emma Walshe
Altos Hannah Cooke Martha McLorinan
Tenors Jeremy Budd Nicholas Madden
Basses William Gaunt Owain Park
“This choir’s great strength is their utterly unimpeachable blend, their clear intonation and their unflinchingly musical approach to their texts.” - MusicWeb International Tenebrae’s Grammy-nominated recording of part-songs from the British Isles includes Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers and Stanford’s The Blue Bird. Available at www.tenebrae-choir.com/shop
© Sim Canetty-Clarke
Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, renowned for its passion and precision. Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae performs at major festivals and venues across the globe, including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus (Germany) and Melbourne Festival (Australia). The choir has earned a reputation for its interpretations of choral music ranging from the hauntingly passionate works of the Renaissance through to contemporary masterpieces, and is a dedicated advocate for new music, having worked with Judith Bingham, Ola Gjeilo, Paweł Łukaszewski, Joanna Marsh, Paul Mealor, Hilary Tann, Joby Talbot, and Will Todd among others.
Tenebrae is frequently engaged with the world’s finest orchestras, regularly appearing alongside the Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia, and the choir also curates an annual Holy Week Festival in partnership with St John’s Smith Square, London. In 2012 Tenebrae was the first-ever ensemble to be multi-nominated in the same category for the BBC Music Magazine Awards, securing the accolade of ‘Best Choral Performance’ for the choir’s recording of Victoria’s Requiem Mass, 1605. In 2016 it received its second BBC Music Magazine Award for its recording of Brahms and Bruckner motets, and in 2018 it received a Grammy nomination for ‘Music of the Spheres’, its album of part songs from the British Isles. Since 2016 Tenebrae has provided crucial training and performance opportunities to a quartet of outstanding young professional singers through its Associate Artist Scheme. As part of this fellowship, these young singers deliver regular choral development workshops in collaboration with Tenebrae’s education partners, Music Centre London and London Youth Choirs. ‘Passion and Precision’ are Tenebrae’s core values. Through its continued dedication to performance of the highest quality, Tenebrae’s vision is to deliver dramatic programming, flawless performances and unforgettable experiences, allowing audiences around the world to be moved by the power and intimacy of the human voice.
Award-winning conductor Nigel Short has earned widespread acclaim for his recording and live performance work with leading orchestras and ensembles across the world. A former member of renowned vocal ensemble The King’s Singers (1994–2000), in 2001 Nigel formed Tenebrae, aiming to combine the passion of a cathedral choir with the precision of a chamber ensemble. Under his direction, Tenebrae has collaborated with internationally acclaimed orchestras and instrumentalists and now enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles. To date, Nigel has conducted the Academy of Ancient Music, Aurora Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, English Chamber Orchestra, English Concert, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Scottish Ensemble. He has directed the London Symphony Orchestra alongside Tenebrae in a live recording of Fauré’s Requiem, which was nominated for the Gramophone Awards (2013) and since then, he has conducted the orchestra at St. Paul’s Cathedral as part of the City of London Festival. Other orchestral recordings include Mozart’s Requiem and Ave Verum Corpus with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and a new release of music by Bernstein, Stravinsky and Zemlinsky with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, described as a “master stroke of programming” (Financial Times).
© Amy Ryan
Recent guest conducting appearances include the BBC Singers, Leipzig’s MDR Rundfunkchor, the Danish National Vocal Ensemble and the Swedish Radio Choir. Nigel has vast recording experience having conducted for many of the world’s major labels including Decca Classics, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, LSO Live, Signum and Warner Classics. In 2018, he received a Grammy nomination in the category of ‘Best Choral Performance’ for Tenebrae’s album of parts songs from the British Isles, ‘Music of the Spheres’. As a Gramophone awardwinning producer, Nigel works with many of the UK’s leading professional choirs and vocal ensembles including Alamire, Ex Cathedra, Gallicantus and The King’s Singers.
PRODUCTION Jon Coates (Producer & Editor) Anton Jeffes (Director of Production) Crew Stuart Antrobus David Hewitt Rick Pinder Adam Young
Audio Andrew Mellor (Engineer & Producer) Brett Cox (Assistant) Post-Production Sarina Gasgon (Colourist) Will Phillips (Editor)
TENEBRAE Nigel Short (Artistic Director) Alexandra Davies (General Manager) Bradley Gill (Development & Learning Coordinator) Esther Poole (Concerts Manager) Tenebrae Unlocked was recorded in St Augustine, Kilburn by kind permission of the Vicar & Churchwardens - https://www.staugustinekilburn.org/ Tenebrae would like to extend its grateful thanks to everyone who participated in the making of Tenebrae Unlocked, working in challenging conditions to make something of enduring beauty and hope. In addition to the above, we owe special thanks to the following: Mapa Mundi for granting us the right to perform from their editions of works by Tomás Luis de Victoria - www.mapamundimusic.com Musica Russica for the use of their editions of the following works: Rachmaninov - Bogoroditse devo (Ra028) www.musicarussica.com/sheet_music_pieces/ra028 Kalinnikov - Svete tihiy (Ka016) www.musicarussica.com/sheet_music_pieces/ka016 Chesnokov - Tebe Poyem (Cn187b) www.musicarussica.com/sheet_music_pieces/cn187b Rachmaninov - Heruvimskaya pesn (Ra010) www.musicarussica.com/sheet_music_pieces/ra010 Chesnokov - Svete tihiy (Cn040) www.musicarussica.com/sheet_music_pieces/cn040
THANK YOU The creation of Tenebrae Unlocked would not have been possible without Crowdfunder UK and the many individuals who supported our international campaign. 2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year, and we are eternally grateful to each and every one of you. We hope you will enjoy the wonderful music we have been able to capture on film.
Sooty Asquith David Barnett Hilary Barton Sandy Becker Stephen Brosnan Brett Burkhart Jean Carnall Mark Chambers Sara Clymo Shelagh Connolly Julie Cooper Susan Cooper Graham Curtis Rhona Dalziel Oliver Davis Gill and Dave Davies Fleur de Villiers Stefaan Dochy Richard Eaton David Farquarson Leslie Jane Ferrar Simon Filsell Sir Roger Gifford Tom Gillingwater Robert Green Tom Griffiths Andrew Halstead Stuart Hastings Kimberley Heatherington Linda Margaret Hirst Christoph HĂśller
Peter Holliday Peter Hughes DaeWha Kang Robert Key Lesia Komorowsky Chindu Kuruvilla Teresa Lander Jeremy Leaman Susan Long Patricia Maguire Thomas MĂ¤rki Gill and John McLorinan Andrew McGee Joanna Mildren John Milton Gregory Norton Professor Eric Nye Michael Palmer Priscilla Pipe-Wolferstan Kristin Polman Anne Richmond-Patrick Morgan Rousseaux Rodrigo Ruiz Sandefur Schmidt Roger and Rosemary Stephenson David Sturdee Andrew Thomson Friedhelm Topp Junko Tsuyuki Brenda White Lowri Williams Steve Wise Michael Zuzel and Cynthia Tank
and several supporters who wish to remain anonymous.
In addition, we would like to thank the following individuals and organisations for their ongoing support of our work: Board of Trustees Sir Roger Gifford (Chair) Elizabeth Andrews Nick Bland Andrew Halstead Jonathan Lane Nicola Oppenheimer Ian Ritchie James Turnbull Honorary Patrons Richard Baker James Bowman CBE Simon Carrington Dame Sarah Connolly CBE Heather de Haes OAM Richard Savage Lady Valerie Solti Corporate Club 3i Group Bell Music British Land Morgan Stanley International Foundation Music Sales Ltd. Santander Discovery Foundation Grant Specialised Travel Ltd. Trusts & Foundations Arts Council England The Adam Mickiewicz Institute The Anglo-Swedish Society Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation
Bernarr Rainbow Trust Britten-Pears Foundation Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Oyly Carte Charitable Trust John S Cohen Foundation Enterprise Arts Trust The Ernest Cook Trust Fenton Arts Trust The Fernside Trust The Fidelio Charitable Trust The Foyle Foundation Garfield Weston Foundation Garrick Charitable Trust The Goldsmithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Company Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation Henry C. Hoare Charitable Trust Hymns Ancient and Modern The Ivor Gurney Trust J Paul Getty Jr General Charitable Trust John Ellerman Foundation The Leche Trust Muriel Jones Foundation The Peter Rose Trust The Polish Cultural Institute PRS for Music Foundation RK Charitable Trust RVW Trust Dr. Mortimer & Theresa Sackler Foundation The Sackler Trust The Thistle Trust Three Monkies Trust The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust The Williams Church Music Trust
Conductor’s Circle Richard Baker Stephen Brosnan Sir Roger and Clare Gifford Jonathan and Caroline Lane James and Virginia Turnbull Principal Benefactors Rev Dr Stephen and Lesley Allsopp Hilary Barton Gina and Jamie Broderick* David and Simone Caukill Lydia Challen and Andrew Dymond Chris Dixon and Katie Milton Leslie Ferrar CVO Adrian Frost Roger Mayhew Anna O’Connor Sir Simon and Lady Robey Brigitt and Martin Weisskopf Benefactors Monica Darnbrough Ed Frazier Davis Michael and Amanda Gibbon Jane Merrick Eric Nye and Carol Frost* Terence Sinclair Simon Wood Friends Elizabeth Andrews Kevin Bailey Mike and Susan Boyd Jenny Brophy Grayston Burgess Gill and Colin Clark Francis and Louise Collin Jayne and Mark Croghan
Ian and Anthea Davidson Peter and Romee Day Megan Dennis Helena Durham Peter Ellmore Richard Eaton Peter Ellmore Steve and Katy Ellis Jürg and Margrit Fankhauser Jane and Peter Forrow Theresa Glore Tim Goodall Andrew and Julia Grant Andrew and Melanie Gray Edmund Green Kimberley A. Heatherington Laura Holleman Mr & Mrs Alastair Hume Martin Jenkinson and Marion Robinson Tom and Isobel Kennedy Marie and Fred Lauquin Jan Lowy Richard MacDonald Helen MacKinnon Niall and Elisabeth Marriott Dr. David and Tama McConnell Richard Milnes His Honour Michael & Mrs Nicola Oppenheimer Simon and Wendy Phillips Kristin and Philippe Polman Jesse van Proctor Helen and Gary Pyggott James and Sarah Richards Lyle and Ernest Short Margaretha Smits Henry Southern Paul Wells Brenda White
and several supporters who wish to remain anonymous.
Regional Ambassadors Esme Caldwell John Crowley Richard Eaton Karen and Simon Filsell Jo Forrest Sarah Gascoyne Edmund Green Paul Haines Andrew Halstead Helen Hereward Tricia Rees-Jones
We would particularly like to thank 3i Group for their ongoing support of Tenebraeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outreach work.