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A Fortuitous and Friendly Proposal

Donald Macleod explores the aspects of history, geography and music that have created the Three Choirs Festival's legacy.

This week the subject of Composer of the Week is not one composer, not even a group of composers, but a remarkable, unique institution lying at the heart of British musical life - a place it has occupied for 300 years.
The Three Choirs Festival, which takes place cyclically in the three cathedral cities of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester, has an astonishing history that has nurtured the careers of many great British composers, including Elgar, Vaughan Williams and SS Wesley.
The 'fortuitous and friendly proposal' emerged from a sermon by Thomas Bisse, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral, whose proposal that the Cathedral choirs of the three cities should meet each year for musical enjoyment, and to raise alms for the widows and orphans of local clergy. That modest ambition has provided the seed from which one of the world's most historic music festivals has grown.
This week Donald Macleod visits the three cities and talks to some of those who have been involved.

Today Donald meets Anthony Boden, author of a fascinating history of the festival; Dominic Jewel, Chief Executive; and Adrian Partington, Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral. Together they begin to weave together the strands of history, geography, and music that have created a legacy which continues to thrive to the present day.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 27 Jul 2015 18:30

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Music Played

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    5 Mystical Songs For Baritone, Chorus And Orchestra

    Choir: Corydon Singers. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Matthew Best.
    • HYPERION : CDA 66420-.
    • HYPERION.
    • 6.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams

    5 Mystical Songs For Baritone, Chorus And Orchestra

    Choir: Corydon Singers. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Matthew Best.
    • HYPERION : CDA 66420-.
    • HYPERION.
    • 6.
  • Henry Purcell

    Te Deum And Jubilate In D Major Z.232 For Ssaatb Soloists, Chorus And Orchestra

    Performer: Temple Choir And Players. Performer: Greg Morris. Performer: James Vivian.
    • SIGNUM : sigcd-225.
    • SIGNUM.
    • 1.
  • Henry Purcell

    Te Deum And Jubilate In D Major Z.232 For Ssaatb Soloists, Chorus And Orchestra

    Performer: Temple Choir And Players. Performer: Greg Morris. Performer: James Vivian.
    • SIGNUM : sigcd-225.
    • SIGNUM.
    • 1.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Samson - Thus when the sun from's wat'ry bed

    Singer: Mark Padmore. Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Andrew Manze.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMU-907733.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 11.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Samson - Thus when the sun from's wat'ry bed

    Singer: Mark Padmore. Orchestra: The English Concert. Conductor: Andrew Manze.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMU-907733.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 11.
  • Sir James MacMillan

    Sun-Dogs For A Capella Choir - Sometimes, like Tobias

    Choir: Groot Omroepkoor. Conductor: Celso Antunes.
    • BIS : SACD 171-9.
    • BIS.
    • 4.
  • Sir James MacMillan

    Sun-Dogs For A Capella Choir - Sometimes, like Tobias

    Choir: Groot Omroepkoor. Conductor: Celso Antunes.
    • BIS : SACD 171-9.
    • BIS.
    • 4.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough

    Performer: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Singer: Bryn Terfel. Conductor: Paul Daniel.
  • Felix Mendelssohn

    Elijah Op.70 - It is Enough

    Performer: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Singer: Bryn Terfel. Conductor: Paul Daniel.
  • Edward Elgar

    The Apostles Op.49 - concluding pages of The Ascension

    Singer: David Rendall. Singer: Bryn Terfel. Singer: Robert Lloyd. Singer: Alison Hargan. Choir: London Symphony Chorus. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Hickox.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-8875.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 5.
  • Edward Elgar

    The Apostles Op.49 - concluding pages of The Ascension

    Singer: David Rendall. Singer: Bryn Terfel. Singer: Robert Lloyd. Singer: Alison Hargan. Choir: London Symphony Chorus. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Richard Hickox.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-8875.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 5.

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