Take a journey to 17th century England with the University of Arizona’s Collegium Musicum as the ensemble presents an evening concert of choral music at the Arizona Senior Academy on Monday (Nov. 14) at 7:30 p.m.
The program begins with motets of the early 17th century masters William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons. Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus is one of his many settings of Latin texts for Catholic services, likely performed secretly in private homes to avoid public defiance of the Church of England. Gibbons’ Almighty and Everlasting God is among his celebrated Anglican settings featuring imitative counterpoint typical of the popular madrigals of the day.
Pelham Humphrey represents a later generation of English Restoration composers associated with the Chapel Royal. In his short life he left a beautiful setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis among his works, as well as The Club Anthem, jointly composed with his friends John Blow and William Turner. Blow’s later piece, Sing, Sing, Ye Muses, comes from “An Entertainment of Musick in York Buildings.” The York Buildings were a favored venue for recitals and concerts.
Music of Henry Purcell will close the program with the anthem I was Glad, and the festive Hail! Bright Cecilia from his famous Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day. Purcell is regarded as one of the greatest English composers whose renown remained unsurpassed for some 200 years.
The Collegium Musicum is the university’s early music choral ensemble whose members include singers from the Tucson community as well as students. Director Donathan Chang is a second-year doctoral student in choral conducting. A native of Seoul, Korea, he holds degrees from the University of Kentucky, Central Bible College, and Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer