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Echoes of the Plantagenets
recreating Fotheringhay’s rich musical heritage
Saturday 25 May 2019 at 7pm
Church of St Mary and All Saints
Fotheringhay PE8 5HZ
Tickets: £25 / £20 (restricted view) - both non-allocated seating
Ticket only admission - please purchase in advance to avoid disappointment.
This special concert promises to provide a magical experience!
- Acclaimed Cambridge Academic and Choral Director Dr
conducts his new vocal ensemble The Alamire Scholars
assembled from the very cream of Cambridge’s young vocal talent
- James Parsons plays the Wingfield ‘Early English’ organ
- redoubtable and entertaining historian Dr David Starkey paints the scene
Together they seek to rediscover Fotheringhay’s rich musical heritage.
Fotheringhay Church draws visitors from all over the world!
Impressive as it is, the building is now just a fragment of an impressive royal establishment nurtured by the Dukes of York. By the 1440’s, Fotheringhay was a College of Singing Priests, living in a large, well-appointed College. Their community included eight singing men and thirteen choir boys.
Music at the College must have been impressive and there were two organs. Composers who lived there or visited included Hugh Aston, Richard Davy and Christopher Tye. Later, Fotheringhay and Oundle schoolmaster John Sadler collected these composers’ key works in his PartBooks (now in the Bodleian Library).
Hear these remarkable compositions, in glorious polyphonic blend, on 25 May!
And in the second half – revel in the richly expressive choral compositions of our great English muses Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, dating from the 16th century when, after St Mary’s College Fotheringhay College had been disbanded (thanks to Henry VIII’s reforms!), church music composers were required to write in English – for fear of the Tower of London!
A special feature of this special concert will be James’s organ solos, played on a small organ just like the organs of mediaeval Fotheringhay. We are thrilled to be hosting a residency of the Wingfield Organ, on loan from the Royal College of Organists; it is precisely modelled upon surviving pieces of a 16th century instrument found in Suffolk – high pitched and hauntingly beautiful in tone.
Eminent historian Dr David Starkey should prove an added attraction, as he paints the scene in his inimitable sparky style!
Join us for an unusual and memorable evening.
Proceeds from the concert go to the church.