Past Events

Silence & Music, Newbury Spring Festival

Holy Cross Church, Ramsbury

14 May 2019, 7.30pm

Silence and Music explores that vast 20th century secular English choral repertoire which goes under the generic title ‘part-songs’. Buried amongst vast quantities of slightly twee pastoralism – the much-derided ‘cow-pat’ school – are to be found many settings of glorious poetry, forming a corpus of sublime 20th century madrigals at least as fine as their famous Renaissance forebears. At the heart of these is the complex relationship between man and nature, the bitter-sweetness of a radiant and beautiful dawn creating the same unbearable sadness of a ravishing song, both with intimations of sublimity and mortality.

‘The object of my music is not to entertain, but to agonise … it is the contrast between the sweet and the hard that is heart-rending.’ Percy Grainger