© Luca Concas

The New-Found Song of the Lyre

The Sixteen
conductor Harry Christophers

Super Flumina Babylonis


William Byrd
(1539/1540-1623)
Diliges Dominum
Christe qui lux es et dies

Arvo Pärt (1935)
The Deer’s Cry

William Byrd
Emendemus in melius

Arvo Pärt
The woman with the Alabaster Box

Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)/William Byrd
Miserere nostri

Philippe de Monte (1521-1603)
Super flumina Babylonis

William Byrd
Quomodo cantabimus?

Arvo Pärt
Nunc Dimittis

William Byrd
Laetentur coeli
Tribue Domine


sopranos
Jessica Cale, Sally Dunkley, Katy Hill, Emilia Morton, Elin Manahan Thomas, Charlotte Mobbs
altos Ian Aitkenhead, Daniel Collins, Edward McMullan, Kim Porter
tenors Simon Berridge, Jeremy Budd, Mark Dobell, George Pooley
bassos Ben Davies, Rob Macdonald, Tim Jones, William Gaunt


The Sixteen are a vocal ensemble founded by Harry Christophers with one purpose in the world: preserving the legacy of British polyphony from the XVI and XVII centuries, whose lesson they pass down and infuse in contemporary choral compositions. Super flumina Babylonis, set to music by Philippe de Monte, is a psalm expressing the yearnings of the Jewish people in exile following the destruction of Jerusalem, when they hung their harps upon the willows and refused to sing in a foreign land. The purpose of the concert lies in “making the harps sound”: namely, the “harps” of composers who had to face cultural or religious oppression, like William Byrd, a Catholic who had to use caution while composing for the Anglican court of Elizabeth I; or like Arvo Pärt who, four hundred years later, struggled with censorship in Soviet-dominated Estonia.


The programme
The texts