The Newman Consort: ‘A busy weekend’

Dr Alex Lloyd of the Newman Consort writes…

It has been lovely to read so many positive comments about the music at Frs James Bradley and Daniel Lloyd’s ordination last Saturday. It was sung by the Newman Consort, the Oxford Ordinariate Group’s in-house choir, under the direction of Paul Kolb, with singers drawn from Oxford and London.

The setting of the ordinary was Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa Laetatus sum for three choirs (SSAT.SATB.SATB). The verses of the responsorial psalm were set to an Anglican chant by Thomas Attwood Walmisley, with a simple Gregorian psalm-tone response, and brought a more obvious element of Anglican Patrimony into the repertoire. Monteverdi’s setting of the Communion antiphon, Ego sum pastor bonus, was sung by a trio, and the accompanying motet (Laetatus sum – ‘I was glad’) to Victoria’s mass setting was sung during the distribution of Holy Communion. We also supported the singing of some fine selections of hymnody: ‘Ye sons and daughters of the King’ (T: O filii et filiae) as a processional, ‘Come, ye faithful, raise the strain’ (T: Ave Virgo Virginum) at the offertory, and the Fr Caswall/Sir R.R.Terry combination of ‘O Godhead hid’, to the tune Aquinas, a version of St Thomas’s Adoro te devote, at Communion. Finally, the Consort sang Gregor Aichinger’s Regina coeli – a joyful end to a beautiful service.

On Sunday morning, members of the Consort travelled to Balham to join the choir at Fr Bradley’s first Mass, and in the evening the Consort provided the music for Fr Lloyd’s first Mass at Holy Rood, Oxford. We began with the Eastertide favourite ‘The strife is o’er’, before singing the introit. The Propers of the day were sung to Gregorian chant, and grateful thanks go to Julian Griffiths of the Gregorian Chant Society who acted as cantor. The exception to this chant regime was the Gradual, Cognoverunt discipuli, which was sung to a setting by William Byrd. The mass setting was Christopher Tye’s Missa Euge bone, of which all but the Creed was sung. Since, as was usual at the time, Tye wrote no Kyrie, this was sung to Lux et origo, the plainsong setting traditionally associated with Eastertide. The congregation had two well-known pieces to sing in a row: Credo III and the offertory hymn, which was ‘At the Lamb’s high feast we sing’.

After the Communion antiphon, the Consort sang Pierre de la Rue’s O salutaris hostia, which was followed by the hymn ‘And now, O Father, mindful of the love’, by William Bright, sometime Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford, sung to W.H. Monk’s tune Unde et memores. The service concluded with Haydn’s Te deum in C Major, accompanied by David Allen on the newly installed organ, inaugurated at a concert last week. This jubilant piece brought back happy memories for the newly ordained Fr Lloyd of student days in Vienna, and mirrored the joy of all those present.

After a busy weekend, the Consort had a well-earned, though brief, rest, before services resumed with a Sung Mass for the Solemnity of St George, with music by Michael Haller (Missa Secunda) and Palestrina (Jesu rex admirabilis), as well as all the propers from the Graduale Romanum.

The Consort continues to provide music for the regular Saturday evening Ordinariate Mass at Holy Rood, as well as travelling further afield. We have been invited to sing this month at St Birinus, Dorchester, SS Gregory and Augustine, Oxford, and continue our regular monthly engagement with the FSSP at St William of York, Reading.

For more information, or to engage the Consort at a liturgical event, please see our website, www.newmanconsort.com.

 

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