Musicians and Religion

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

What’s your first thought when you read these words?

For some of you, you’ll immediately think of the Bible, you may not know that it’s a quote taken from Isaiah chapter 60 but you’ll probably know it’s something biblical. However, for many musicians these words are much more familiar in the context of Handel’s Messiah.


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Handel Messiah, 16th December, Christ Church Spitalfields

Handel Messiah

Mary Bevan soprano
Jennifer Johnston
Joshua Elicott 
Benjamin Bevan
The English Concert
The Choir of The English Concert
Harry Bicket 


I first found out about Spitalfields Music last year, during their 2012 summer festival, when I performed with Super Critical Mass. We performed a rather modern piece (if you can call it that) and it really opened my eyes to new music. As it happened Spitalfields Music is about much more than contemporary music and actually programmes a large amount of period performances as well as more modern ones.


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Verdi Bicentenary Celebration, 24th November, Bridgewater Hall

Verdi: Simon Boccanegra Act I

Verdi: Falstaff Act II

Verdi: Otello Act III

Mark Elder, Hallé, Peter Auty, Scott Hendricks, David Stout, Elizabeth Llewellyn and Judith Howarth, Hallé Choirs.


Now unlike my other posts so far, this one will not be a review exactly. Why? Because I didn’t technically see the whole concert. Since moving to Manchester in September, I’ve got involved in lots of things, and one of those is the RNCM chamber choir. Though we’re not mentioned on the website I can assure you that we were part of this concert and listed in full in programme.


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Talich Quartet, 8th October, RNCM Concert Hall

Mozart: String Quartet No.14 in G major (‘Spring’) K. 387

Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major Op. 49

Mendelssohn: String Quartet No.6 in F minor, Op. 80

Talich Quartet (Jan Talich Jr., Roman Patočka, Vladimír Bukač, Petr Prause)


Tonight’s concert featured some truly wonderful pieces and some equally wonderful playing. The three pieces selected for tonights programme seemingly have little in common other than the fact that they are all, clearly, string quartets.The Talich Quartet

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Prom 43: Tallis Scholars, Wednesday 14 August, Royal Albert Hall

Taverner: Kyrie ‘Leroy’

Gesualdo: Ave, dulcissima Maria; Ave, regina caelorum; Maria, marter gratiae

interspersed with:

Taverner: Missa ‘Gloria tibi Trinitas’

Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips


As a singer, and lover of chamber, choral and renaissance music, this programme was simply ideal for me. The combination of the Italian composer Gesualdo and the English composer John Taverner was chosen to highlight the breadth of repertoire there is within renaissance choral music.Tallis-Scholars-credit-Eric-Richmond Read More