Join Opus Anglicanum on a Christmas journey 800 years back in time, visiting entrancing music and words from our mediaeval past.
On this inspiring journey we encounter festive music performed for centuries in great cathedrals as well as more intimate works, such as those written for seasonal feasts in collegiate halls; but the identity of most of our composers remains a mystery.
Featuring Christmas music from the raucous to the sublime, masterworks include Perotin’s Beata viscera, music from the Eton Choirbook, and as a finale, Obrecht’s dazzling Factor orbis, where multiple Advent texts and chants combine in an intricate ‘musical sermon’.
Readings, performed by BBC Radio’s Zeb Soanes, invite the listener to encounter great mediaeval spiritual thinkers, poets and artists. Their words – spanning a thousand years from the fifth-century eloquence of Chrysostom via the glorious ninth-century antiphon O Oriens, to the wisdom of Lancelot Andrewes – illuminate the surrounding music.
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