Music for Lent
From St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, Martin Handley presents the BBC Singers in a concert for Lent. Including music by Alain, Tucapsky, Messiaen, Poulenc, Ropek and Rutter.
RADIO 3 LIVE IN CONCERT: MUSIC FOR LENT
Live from St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge
Presented by Martin Handley
FRANCIS POULENC: Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence
JEHAN ALAIN: Postlude pour l'Office de complies
ANTONIN TUČAPSKÝ: Five Lenten Motets
OLIVIER MESSIAEN: Jésus accepte la souffrance
FRANCIS POULENC: Litanies a la vierge noire
JIŘÍ ROPEK: Variations on Victimae Paschali Laudes
JOHN RUTTER: Requiem
Stephen Farr (organ)
David Hill (conductor)
Live from St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, Martin Handley presents a concert of music for one of the most solemn periods of the church year: the forty days of Lent. For Christians, this is a season of spiritual reflection and self-examination, and tonight's concert includes works in that penitential vein by French and Czech composers. Poulenc's four motets have become a classic of the choral repertoire - as has his simple and heart-felt setting of prayers to the Black Virgin of Rocamadour, a work which marked the recovery of his lapsed Catholic faith after a spiritual crisis.
Lenten motets by the Czech-born composer Antonin Tučapský, who has lived in Britain since 1975, are paired with a set of variations for organ by the distinguished Czech organist Jiří Ropek. These are based on the Easter plainchant "Victimae Paschali Laudes" - a melody also quoted by John Rutter in his Requiem, a work which juxtaposes the age-old words of the Latin Mass for the Dead with scriptural texts to create a work of quiet reflection, profound beauty and immense consolation.
And continuing the Czech theme in tonight's concert, the interval explores chamber music by a selection of modern Czech composers.