Music for All Seasons - Programme

Remember Now Thy Creator

Dr Charles Steggall

Ave Maria

Robert Parsons 

Hodie Christus Natus Est

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

In Dulci Jubilo  (Organ Solo)

Johann Sebastian Bach 

Surge Illuminare Jerusalem

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Christus Factus Est

Anton Bruckner

Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing

Herbert Howells


Dum Transisset Sabbatum

John Taverner

Blessed be the God and Father

Samuel Sebastian Wesley 

Transports de Joie  (Organ Solo)

Olivier Messiaen

Viri Galilæi

Patrick Gowers

Der Geist Hilft

Johann Sebastian Bach

I Saw the Lord

Sir John Stainer


O sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving: Sing praises upon the harp unto our God.
Young men and maidens, old men and children: Praise the name of the Lord.
Let them praise His name in the dance: Let them sing praises unto Him with tabret and harp.
Praise Him upon the well-tuned cymbals: Praise Him upon the loud cymbals.
Let everything that hath breath: Praise the Lord.

Verses from Psalms 147, 148, 149, 150

Music for all Seasons

The composition of sacred Christian music, mostly for the purpose of worship, is an exercise which has been undertaken by almost every composer of any significance from the western world since the emergence in Paris of the Ars Antiqua style during the twelfth century. A great deal of this music has been written with a specific purpose and function in mind, and is therefore linked, by its text, to a particular time of year, when the church is remembering, or celebrating, in an annually repeating cyclical pattern, a particular event, or a specific feature of its beliefs and traditions. 

The purpose of this concert is to guide the listener through the main seasons of the Christian year, in sequential order, using music from a variety of nationalities and centuries which has made a significant contribution to the sacred Christian repertoire, and which has endured because of its beauty, its sincerity and its mastery of form. 

The texts for much of this music are drawn directly from biblical scripture, in one of its many translations. However, composers have also been inspired by texts from other sources, such as the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (the main devotional tool of the English Protestant Reformation and first written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549), by sacred and devotional poetry and hymnody, and by the more general writings of other spiritual men and women. In addition to the main Christian seasons there are, of course, many particular recurring events and rituals within the Christian year, such as specific Saints’ Days or times of remembrance, as well as the recurring and routine services which constitute the structure of regular worship, such as the Eucharist, Matins, Vespers, Evensong and Compline, at which familiar canticles and texts are routinely set and used.