University of Leeds International Concert Series

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Early Music Festival: Cryes and Teares


I Fagiolini, Fretwork and James Johnstone (organ)

I Fagiolini’s glorious voices join with the soaring beauty of Fretwork’s viols, accompanied by internationally acclaimed organist James Johnstone, in this very special concert. ‘Cryes and Teares’ moves from the familiar to the unexpected: from street cries by Gibbons, Dering and Cobbold to the first-ever public performance of songs from Martin Peerson’s innovative, intriguing – and today virtually unknown – songbook Mottects or Grave Chamber Musique(1630).

Peerson (c1572-1651) was a professional musician, highly respected by his contemporaries and for 25 years Almoner and Master of the Choristers at St Paul’s cathedral during the deanship of the poet John Donne. He was also one of a small number of Trustees for the Blackfriars Theatre Company at the same time as his neighbour William Shakespeare.

Peerson was chosen by his patron, the privy counsellor Sir Fulke Greville (1554-1628), to set his Caelica poems exploring the subject of human love: the resulting songbook has been virtually unknown for over 300 years, and in fact was nearly lost forever!  As the work neared completion Greville was killed, stabbed by a trusted servant and inadvertently finished off by the doctors four weeks later. Colourful times, and music to match.

The conjunction of these internationally-acclaimed, stellar musical forces and the quality of the music will make this Festival headline concert truly an occasion to remember.

Part of the Early Music Festival.

Tickets: £25
(advance saver – available until 5 February)
Free – Students and Under 16s

Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall

Pre-concert talk – 6:30: Cryes and Teares, Richard Rastall

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