Fifteen singers from Le Grand Choeur du Conservatoire de Chartres will swell the ranks of the Chichester Singers as they perform works from French classics to contemporary English masters on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Chartres with Chichester at their concert on Saturday 22 June under the baton of Jonathan Willcocks.
This concert will include the world première performance of Crucifixus by Jonathan Little, an anthem for Triple Choir (in 12 parts) with organ accompaniment.
Jonathan writes, “Written to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the National Boys’ Choir of Australia and dedicated to the memory of Harold Bird, the score is marked, “Slow and Spacious”, and “Maestoso (In Wonder)” – with the refrain becoming ever-more decorated on each return. Despite the subject matter, the mood of the refrain is more one of glory and awe, rather than mere dolefulness. The intimate verse, by contrast, is marked, “Teneramente e sostenuto” (“Tenderly and sustained”).
“Crucifixus is, in fact, the most concise version of a much longer work, entitled Woefully Arrayed, the latter of which contains three verses and four refrains, runs a full 26 minutes, and has something of a hypnotic, time-defeating quality to it. Abridged versions of Woefully Arrayed can be performed by commencing the work from either the Second or – as here – Third Refrain. The nature of its text makes it most appropriate for the Lenten season, in the lead up to Eastertide, and supremely fitting for performance on Good Friday.”
About Jonathan David Little
The atmospheric and evocative music of British-Australian composer Jonathan David Little, BMus(Hons)(Melb), ThA(AustCollTheol), PhD, FLCM, FISM, FRSA, is notable for its mystical beauty, intensity, richness of material, and intricate craftsmanship.
In 2011, he was awarded the Collard Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Musicians (est.1500), and was also the first composer to receive a Professional Development Award from the UK music business’s own charity, the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. In 2016 he won a Royal Philharmonic Society “ENCORE Choral” Award (UK), in 2017 Special Distinction for his orchestral music in the ASCAP Rudolf Nissim Prize (USA) – and in January 2018 his polychoral Kyrie was nominated for “Best Classical Music Recording” at the inaugural RoundGlass Global Music Awards (USA-INDIA). His entire body of polychoral music was also nominated for the 2018 CHASS Australia Prize – the nation’s premier and most distinguished award in the Arts and Humanities. He has also received BBC, PRS, Fanfare, Authors’ Foundation, Australia Council, Chagrin, Bliss, Leighton Trust, and other distinguished awards in the USA, UK and Australia. Choir & Organ (UK) reported of some of his recent choral music that “Little writes very much in the manner of the renaissance masters, creating what a modern sensibility would identify as ‘immersive’ music of strongly mystical aspect”.
Positions held include Principal of the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford (the first music education institution to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise), then Professor of Music Composition and Music History at the University of Chichester – and subsequently Professor Emeritus from 2019. See www.JonathanLittle.org.