Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

January/February 2016 issue on sale now

Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris

Latest News

Hampton Court Palace’s Chapel Royal to celebrate first Catholic service in over 450 years

5 January 2016

The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace will hold the first Catholic service in more than 450 years on 9 February.

The Vespers service, which will take place from 7-8pm, will be the first service according to the Latin rite of the Catholic Church to be celebrated in the Chapel since the 1550s.

It will be celebrated mostly in Latin by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and will include a sermon from the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr Richard Chartres, KCVO, Bishop of London and Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal.

The service will be dedicated to St John the Baptist, recognising the fact that the Chapel was built by Cardinal Wolsey on the site of a chapel of the Knights of St John Hospitaller.

Music will be provided by The Sixteen and Genesis Sixteen (both directed by Harry Christophers). They will perform Thomas Tallis’ Magnificat, William Cornysh’s Salve Regina and John Taverner’s ‘Leroy’ Kyrie.

Members of the public can enter a free ballot for the chance to attend the service.

The service will be prefaced by a discussion between the Cardinal and Dean under the title 'Faith and the Crown', which will explore the relationship between the two churches and the monarchy. This will take place from 5.30-6.30pm in the Great Hall.

Michele Price, director of development for the Choral Foundation (which preserves and promotes the heritage of choral music at the Chapel Royal), said: 'The Chapel Royal at Hampton Court played centre stage to the religious changes in the 16th Century.  Its musicians and composers met the challenge of serving the spiritual needs of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, by producing new and beautiful music and in so doing became "the cradle of English church music."

'This historic occasion enables us to explore our rich heritage and bring together Christian traditions as we celebrate 500 years of Hampton Court Palace.'

'This service of Vespers will include some music by three extraordinary composers who were in the employ of Tudor monarchs and whose music miraculously survived the reformation,' said Harry Christophers. 'In 1509 William Cornyshe became Informator Choristarum of the Chapel Royal and led the Chapel Royal’s ceremonies at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in June 1520 whilst some years later Thomas Tallis served also as a gentleman of the Chapel Royal under four monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I. 

'John Taverner, who completes the trio, was perhaps the most colourful; although he was master of the Choristers in Oxford under Cardinal Wolsey he is believed to have known Thomas Cromwell personally when he was Henry VIII’s chief minister and in 1538 Taverner supervised the demolition and burning of the rood screen in Boston parish church as a result of reformation activities.'

The Chapel Royal has always been an active church within the Church of England: its services are traditional, according to the Book of Common Prayer of 1662. The Choir sings each Sunday at 11am and 3.30pm (except during the summer months). The Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday and Wednesday at 8.30am, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Holy Days at 12.30pm. 

Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace

New organ radio station launches

5 January 2016

A new radio station based in Flanders and the Netherlands broadcasts organ music for 24 hours, seven days per week.

Orgelradio.eu was created to compensate for a lack of regular organ programming.

Each day has a theme: for example, Mondays will be dedicated to Belgian recordings; Wednesdays to Dutch releases; and Fridays will be dedicated to CDs from across the world. 

The repertoire broadcast ranges from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue to Widor's first symphony.

The number of tracks is currently limited to 1000 but this will increase to 3000 in March 2016.

Orgel Radio

ISM and RCO announce new partnership

4 January 2016

The Royal College of Organists and the Incorporated Society of Musicians will work together to build and deliver a wide range of services, information and development opportunities for organists and choral directors.

The relationship is intended to increase the breadth and availability of support for organists and choral directors.

Members of either organisation will be able to join the other at a 25% discount.

'Recent research found that as many as seven out of every ten organists cite their music and musicianship as either a primary or supplementary source of income, which highlights the importance of increasing the professional and vocational support available to our members,' said Philip Meaden, chief executive of the RCO. 'The Incorporated Society of Musicians is the natural choice as partner for this, and the RCO is delighted to be working closely with the Society in this way.'

Describing herself as 'delighted' about the new relationship, ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: 'Our shared aims and values will ensure the very best services are available for these musicians, and we look forward to what will be a fruitful working relationship.'

The RCO is an educational charity dedicated to the promotion and advancement of organ playing and choral directing. Its objective is 'to promote and advance the arts and practice of organ playing and choral direction; to set and maintain proper standards; and to educate and promote study and research in such arts.'

Choir & Organ New Music pieces to premiere 12 January

4 January 2016

The New Music pieces featured in Choir & Organ throughout 2015 will receive their premieres on 12 January.

The BBC Singers and Ben Comeau will perform the works at 3pm at St Paul's, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8SH in a concert lasting approximately 40 minutes.

The concert will feature the following pieces:

For voices (BBC Singers)
Robert Goulder: I Saw His Round Mouth's Crimson (Mar/Apr 2015)
Alexander Turner Proudlock: The Dirge of December (May/Jun 2015)
Hsu Tzu-Chin: Under the Moonlight (Jul/Aug 2015)
William Cole: Plorans ploravit (Nov/Dec 2015)

For organ (Ben Comeau)
Edward Nesbit: Winter Journey (Jan/Feb 2015)
Ben Comeau: Theme & Variations (Sep/Oct 2015)

The premieres follow a workshop with the BBC Singers on 'Writing for Voices' (11.30am-1pm) which will be led by Master of the Queen's Music and BBC Singers associate composer Judith Weir and conductor Matthew Hamilton.

Both events are free, but tickets must be reserved.

Choir & Organ New Music concert

January at Salisbury Cathedral

4 January 2016

Musical highlights at Salisbury Cathedral this month include the Epiphany Procession, a choral evensong to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, and a performance of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur.

The Epiphany Procession, which will feature music by Poulenc, Mendelssohn, Messiaen, Tavener and Shepard, will take place at 5pm on 17 January. The service commemorates the journey of the Magi to worship the infant Jesus, before following His life through to adulthood. 

Radio 3 will be broadcasting Choral Evensong live from the Cathedral at 3.30pm on 27 January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Visitors must be in their seats well before 3pm to hear the service, which includes music by Lennox Berkeley and Bach.

The month culminates in a complete performance of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur on 31 January. The nine movements will be woven into the Evening Prayer service, enhanced by prayer and readings. 

Salisbury Cathedral: Worship Music and Spectacle New Year

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