This page is where you can find all the information about the Boxgrove Choral Festival 2023. We had a fantastic lineup of performers, and repertoire encompassed the anniversaries of Byrd, Weelkes & Rachmaninov as well as extra delights of Poulenc and Strauss.
If you would like to support the festival, you can join our Friends Scheme.
The Gesualdo Six made their first appearance at the Boxgrove Choral Festival, but it was by no means their first concert in Boxgrove. The group absolutely love the Priory acoustics and have given many concerts there. They also filmed their Advent Sessions series back in 2020. Their English Motets programme featured the music of William Byrd & Thomas Weelkes who both died 400 years ago in 1623.
The Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss have a legendary status in the history of song. They were premiered after the composer’s death in 1950 in their full orchestral version in the Royal Albert Hall. This performance with piano accompaniment provides a different angle more focused around the poetry and the vocal line.
Katherine Gregory & Madeleine Brown are a young duo and recent winners of the Clare College Song Competition in Cambridge. Soprano Katherine Gregory‘s operatic repertoire includes Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Queen of the Night) & Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa) and Handel’s Semele (Juno). She has also sung solos in Brahms’ and Duruflé’s Requiem settings, the latter on YouTube for The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge under Stephen Layton. Pianist Madeleine Brown recently won first prize in the Cambridge University Concerto Competition, playing Grieg’s Piano Concerto. She has also recently performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Both have just graduated from the University of Cambridge and are now embarking on the next stage of their careers.
The Beaufort Singers returned to Boxgrove Priory for a weekend of choral music from Europe. First, on Saturday 2 September, we returned to a work which we performed first in 2017, during our first season.
Rachmaninov was born 150 years ago, and the All-Night Vigil is being performed around the world to mark this anniversary. This work is the crowning achievement of the Russian orthodox sacred music tradition. It shows an altogether different side of the composer’s style to his orchestral music.
Rachmaninov had a deep personal faith, clearly displayed through his setting of the choral vespers. Split into two parts, first comes music for evening Vespers and then for morning Mattins, forming an ‘All-Night Vigil’. The work includes the famous settings of the Nunc Dimittis and Ave Maria (Bogoroditse Dyevo). Prestigious soloists Jess Dandy & Peter Davoren joined an augmented chorus to create the lavish soundscape, including the famous writing for the Basso profondo voice part.
Mass in Boxgrove Priory at 11am on Sunday 3 September featured Mass in G by French composer Francis Poulenc. We also joined with Boxgrove Priory Choir to perform Stanford’s Te Deum in C at the end of the service.