Drag to explore
F i n d o u t n o w F i n d o u t n o w F i n d o u t n o w
School choir sing in church in a concert

Music at Lunchtime: Music for Ash Wednesday

22nd February 2023

With a specially-chosen programme for Ash Wednesday, this week’s Music at Lunchtime recital was given by the School’s Chamber Choir, conducted by Director of Music, Peter Davis. Their programme paired two reflective works to mark the beginning of Lent: Philip Moore’s Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Anima Christi, commissioned by the School in 2020 from the esteemed choral composer Ēriks Ešenvalds.

Philip Moore’s settings of three texts by Dietrich Bonhoeffer are intensely powerful works, depicting the writings of a theologian imprisoned and executed in a Nazi concentration camp.  The settings blend serenity and religious solace with despair, and are challenging musically with moments of harsh dissonance and confrontational harmony. Beginning from silence, Sofia’s alto solo set the tone for the work as spacious, matching sections of tranquillity with jolts into darkly dissonant passages. After much anguished, dissonant music, the third movement gave way to clarity and peace in its final section, leaving the audience stunned by the music’s gravity.

The choir completed their programme with Ešenvalds’ Anima Christi. A work of gentle dissonance and lilting flow, the choir’s rendition made for a moving performance of this special commission by the School.

The chamber choir are delighted to be returning once again to the Brandenburg Choral Festival in London on Thursday 23 February, where they will perform today’s music, alongside contemporary and classic choral works by Parry, Mendelssohn, Arensky and Ola Gjeilo.

Next week’s ‘Music at Lunchtime’ recital is given by Music Scholars Elsa and Evie, who will be performing a selection of music for violin.

Share this article