On Ash Wednesday, 25 February, the Abbey Choir sang the Allegri Miserere for the first time. This justly famous motet, dating from about 1638, alternates verses for plainsong, full choir and a quartet of soloists, including a treble who soars repeatedly up to an ethereal top C. For many years, the motet was sung only during Holy Week in the Sistine Chapel Choir. It began to reach a wider audience in 1771 after Charles Burney, a music historian, published a copy of the score that Mozart, at the age of just 14, had made from memory a year earlier after hearing a couple of performances.More »

With some promising voices emerging on the treble line, this term is seeing Romsey Abbey Choir setting its musical sights even higher – literally. It has doubled the frequency of Choral Evensongs to at least twice a month and is tackling some interesting new repertoire. The term began with the Epiphany Gift Service, for which choir members Geoff Mordan, Rob Gower and Chris Lindsay dressed up as the Magi. The first Choral Evensong of the year, featuring Herbert Howells’ Collegium Regale service, followed that evening. Candlemas (1 February) saw the first performance by the choir of two works by the Abbey’s Organist and Master ofMore »