The King’s Singers
Friday, January 26, 2018 | 8:00 pm
Half a century ago, six choral scholars at King’s College Cambridge formed their own choir. They took a bold approach, rewriting the rules about what classically trained vocal ensembles could sing and how they could sing it, mixing the contemporary with the classical and the sacred with the secular. During the last fifty years, twenty-six King’s Singers have come and gone, but they have all had in common a democratic musical sensibility and consummate technique, as much at home with Byrd as with the Beatles. “The King’s Singers have the same microscopic perfection one sometimes hears from purely instrumental chamber musicians,” declares The Washington Post.
For their fiftieth anniversary the King’s Singers dazzle with a typically wide-ranging program. They begin with an anniversary commission from former member Bob Chilcott before moving back in time to renaissance and romantic compositions. They surprise with a set of spirituals that includes arrangements of U2 and Paul Simon and end the night’s first half with a new commission by firebrand composer Nico Muhly. The concert closes with a panoply of audience favorites and new arrangements.
Henry Ley: The Prayer of King Henry VI
Bob Chilcott: We Are (50th Anniversary Commission)
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Sicut Cervus
Thomas Tallis: In Manus Tuas, Domine
William Byrd: Sing Joyfully
Toby Hession: Master of Music (50th Anniversary Commission)
Charles Villiers Stanford: The Bluebird
Sydney Lovatt: The Little Green Lane
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Rest
Francis Poulenc: Quatre Petites Prières de Saint Francois d’Assise
Paul Simon, arr. Andrew Jackman: Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy
Traditional, arr. Robert Rice: Down by the Riverside
U2, arr. Bob Chilcott: MLK
Nico Muhly: To Stand In This House (50th Anniversary Commission)
John Rutter: Be Not Afeard (50th Anniversary Commission)
Richard Rodney Bennett: The Season of His Mercies
Program closes with classic favorites and brand new surprises from the lighter side of the King’s Singers’ repertoire.
“Pinpoint precision, total rapport, crisp diction, faultless tuning and a seemingly effortless ability to switch between different stylistic requirements.”