Britten: Canticle IV – Journey of the Magi
Saint-Saëns: Violons dans le soir
Britten: Canticle II – Abraham and Isaac
Songs by Purcell and Saint-Saëns
In medieval Beverley, the annual procession of mystery plays captured the imaginations of the whole town. Britten sets two mystery play texts amongst his canticles – colourfully exploring the behind-the-scenes reality of the wise men’s journey from the east, and heart-stoppingly depicting the story of Abraham, called by God to sacrifice his own son.
The night-time theme of the Magi journey is picked up in Purcell’s radiant Evening Hymn and Schubert’s sublime piano trio Notturno. A more sultry nocturnal mood is captured in Piazzolla’s tango, marking the Argentinian composer’s centenary, and for this we’re delighted to welcome back to New Paths violinist Fenella Humphreys. Former RSC and West End actor Richard Avery interleaves the music with short spoken word declamations – a true reflection of the town’s mystery play heritage.
Performers: WT, JE, GBJ, FH, CB, LB, RA