Ex Cathedra choir and ensemble
Jeffrey Skidmore conductor
Parry I Was Glad – 8’
Judith Weir Illuminare, Jerusalem – 4’
Parry Lord, let me know mine end – 10’
Howells O pray for the peace of Jerusalem – 8’
Parry Blest pair of Sirens – 11’
Parry Jerusalem – 3’
James MacMillan Seven Angels – 35’
Tewkesbury Abbey is the perfect space for the enveloping richness of this expansive choral programme – performed as part of Cheltenham Music Festival. Jerusalem is the connecting point, both in the older pieces by Gloucestershire composers Parry and Howells, and in the works by two of Scotland’s greatest living composers. James MacMillan’s Seven Angels is a spectacular new ‘Last Judgment’ work, featuring texts from the Book of Revelation: singers are joined by biblical instruments such as trumpets, harp and the ‘shofar’ – a ram’s horn that will boom atmospherically into the Abbey acoustic.
MacMillan’s deeply-held faith gives a special intensity to all his sacred music, and Seven Angels is no exception. But there’s nothing conventionally ‘sacred’ about this extraordinary choral work: ‘theatricality lies at the heart of this blistering music’ wrote The Scotsman after its premiere in 2015, and the piece concludes with a thrilling setting of the words ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end’.
Tickets go on general sale on Wed 6 April. Click here for more information and to book.