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TENTH ANNIVERSARY 1998-2008 Powered By Docstoc
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland

15 November 2008


Chandos Anthem No 11 HWV 256a

Opus 7 Number 5 HVW 310


From harmony, from heav’nly harmony HWV 76

Out of respect for the music, the musicians and your fellow audience members,
please turn off all mobile telephone, pagers and watches.
       Musica Sacra
       The first ten years

       Musica Sacra was founded on 14 November 1998 during
       a meeting of singers in Holy Sepulchre Church, Khyber
       Pass. The core group of singers in the new choir had found
       themselves unexpectedly dispossessed from the choir of
       Holy Trinity Cathedral, after Indra Hughes had somewhat
       controversially been made redundant from the position of
       Director of Music. There was a strong desire on the part
       of both conductor and singers to remain together and to
       continue singing the finest sacred choral music, and so
       Musica Sacra was created.
       The new choir took its name from the Tudor composer
       Thomas Tomkins’ posthumous publication Musica Deo
       Sacra (1668). It was felt that this was too wordy to be the
       name of a choir, and so Deo was dropped. Coincidentally,
       Musica Sacra is also the title of William Croft’s 1724
       anthology of his compositions, many of which Musica
       Sacra has performed. The words literally mean ‘sacred
       music’ and this has been the defining feature of the choir’s
       The eminent choir trainer Dr Barry Rose, best known as
       the conductor of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir at the Royal
       Wedding of HRH The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana
       Spencer in 1991, had also been the highly successful
       choirmaster at Guildford and St Alban’s Cathedrals, and
       in 1998 had just been awarded the OBE for his services
       to music; he graciously agreed to become the new choir’s
       Patron. He wrote: “The advent of a new choir is always
       an exciting event, but the formation of Musica Sacra is
       something to be specially welcomed at this time. I salute
       the courage and commitment of Indra Hughes and his
       singers whose vision and determination have brought them
       together into this new group, of which I am delighted and
       honoured to be the Patron. I wish them well in all their
       future music-making.”

top to bottom: the choir at Auckland Art Gallery in 2001; singing at the 100th anniversary
of St Matthew-in-the-City, May 2003; the choir in Napier, June 2003; the Donald Barriball
Memorial Chamber Organ, 2006; rehearsing in Wellington Cathedral, 2006
The Reverend Canon Roger Hill generously              During the course of 1999, Bruce Thompson,
made Holy Sepulchre available to the choir            who was the Chairman and Manager of the
as a home and rehearsal venue. Preparations           choir, worked tirelessly as a labour of love to
began for the choir’s first performance, a            bring the noble organ in Holy Sepulchre back
concert of Christmas music to be held at St           into playing order, after a silence of around 20
Michael’s, Remuera on 19 December 1998.               years. On 29 August 1999 the organ, though far
The 22 foundation singers paid for the initial        from fully restored, was sounding sufficiently
expenses from their own pockets. Thanks               well to accompany the choir in its first Choral
to considerable media coverage, the concert           Evensong. The visiting organist was Robert
attracted a sizeable audience. The first piece sung   Costin, with whom the choir has enjoyed a long
by Musica Sacra was Adeste Fideles (O come,           association, and the anthem was Parry’s Hear
all ye faithful), sung in Latin. Tara Werner, the     my words, ye people, with its virtuoso organ
then music critic of the New Zealand Herald,          part. Monthly Evensongs began in February
reacted cautiously in the choir’s first review: “In   2000, since when the choir has sung over 80
an already crowded Auckland choral scene, the         such services. These Choral Evensongs enable
advent of a new choir is bound to be viewed           the choir to sing Anglican Cathedral repertoire
with some scepticism and questions posed [sic].       in its proper context, often with significantly
Firstly, what are the reasons for its creation;       larger scale music than a church choir would be
secondly, what are its chances of survival; and,      allowed to sing; the services are fully traditional,
most important of all, do the singers meet            following the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—
quality musical expectations?” Though she             an increasingly rare thing in this country.
complimented parts of the concert, she summed         Another tradition that began in 1999 was
up by saying that it “highlighted plenty of           Musica Sacra’s annual Christmas Concert; the
enthusiasm and joie de vivre, but not yet that        first one included Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia
totally seamless vocal blend and pinpoint-            on Christmas Carols, with the baritone Simon
accurate intonation that could make Musica            Christie. These Christmas concerts have grown
Sacra a powerful choral force.”                       to the point where the 2007 concert filled
1999 saw the choir present an ambitious               St Patrick’s Cathedral to capacity.
programme of demanding repertoire,                    In 2000, Musica Sacra performed in public no
including Scarlatti’s 10-part Stabat Mater,           fewer than 22 times. The year began in grand
Byrd’s complex motet Infelix Ego and his Great        style with Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens as the
Service, Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria        anthem at Evensong, followed soon after by
and Sir Hubert Parry’s six Songs of Farewell.         the choir undertaking at short notice, with the
The independence that came from being ‘not            Orlando Singers, the demanding part of Choir
a church choir, but a choir that sings church         II in Bach’s St Matthew Passion for the Auckland
music’ enabled this kind of substantial repertoire    Bach Cantata Society (now called Bach Musica).
to be presented.
“It is inspiring to hear choral singing of such brilliance and consummate artistry. Musica Sacra seems to have
achieved all the qualities choral conductors dream about” Dominion Post
                “smooth, rich, creamy, beautifully presented, the ultimate in good taste” Music in New Zealand
“precision, balance, homogeneity of sound and wonderful command of the austere idiom” Dominion Post
                          “There is no doubt that it is the unimpeachable quality of Musica Sacra’s performances
                                         which makes these works so memorable” International Record Review


Nigel Potts was the choir’s first official Organist,   Heath Lees wrote that Musica Sacra’s “clean,
in the first half of 2000, until he left for Yale      beautifully launched entries acted like a musical
University. He was succeeded as Organist by            spearhead”. Another concert featured Tallis’
Woo-sug Kang, who served the choir with                incredibly complex Gaude Gloriosa and, with the
distinction until he too left for Yale in 2003.        assistance of some supernumerary singers, his
Dr John Wells has been Organist since the              40-part motet Spem in Alium.
beginning of 2004. Other organists who have            A tour to Wellington included the Victoria
played for Musica Sacra include John Scott LVO,        Requiem and the premiere of another
the late Ron Dellow, Anita Banbury, John Hume,         commissioned work from David Griffths: a
Neil Guyan, Stanley Jackson, Kevin Bishop,             remarkable setting of Donne’s Annunciation, in a
Rachael Griffiths-Hughes and Rita Paczian.             concert that drew a glowing review from Lindis
Good Friday 2000 was the first of what was             Taylor in the Dominion Post. The Christmas
to become another annual tradition that, like          Concert included the Southern Hemisphere
the Christmas Concerts, always attracts a large        premiere of Handel’s newly-discovered
audience. For Good Friday in 2001, the beautiful       Gloria, with soprano Lisette Wesseling and a
St Mark Passion by Charles Wood was revived,           baroque consort led by Graham McPhail; and
with soloists John Wells, David Griffiths and Jack     Gerald Finzi’s wonderful but rarely performed
Bourke. Good Friday 2002 repeated the Scarlatti        Christmas Cantata In terra pax with members
Stabat Mater, in preparation for a CD recording.       of the Auckland Philharmonia. The year ended
2003’s Good Friday presentation included the           in style with the choir’s first CD, Christmas a
premiere of David Griffiths’ large scale setting       Cappella, at number one in the Classical Charts,
The Servant for two choirs, soloists and two           and with a special edition of TVNZ’s Praise Be
string quartets, which was written for Musica          featuring the choir exclusively, filmed at Holy
Sacra; this was repeated in 2005. Stainer’s The        Sepulchre and broadcast on Christmas Day.
Crucifixion found a place on Good Friday 2004,         An innovation in 2001 was the creation of the
and by Good Friday 2006, with Bach’s Cantata           Musica Sacra Consort, a small group drawn
No 12 and Fauré’s Requiem (each accompanied            from the ranks of the choir who sang at some
by a different orchestra), St Matthew-in-the-City      special occasions like Tenebrae for Holy Week,
was literally full to overflowing. Fire regulations    with the Lassus Tenebrae Responsories. Also in
meant that on Good Friday 2007, even with              2001, generously funded by a private benefactor,
relatively obscure repertoire by Croft, the            was the creation of the Musica Sacra Organ
performance had to be given twice in order to          Scholarship, designed to support young organ
accommodate the audiences. This was true also          students by contributing to their tuition costs
of Good Friday 2008, with Buxtehude’s cantata          and by providing opportunities to perform with
cycle Membra Jesu Nostri.                              the choir. Matthew Barker was the first Organ
2001 was a year of considerable development            Scholar, followed in 2003 by William Gunson.
and achievement. As well as the Wood Passion           The current Organ Scholar is Yuri Lee.
already mentioned, the choir sang the part of the      In 2002 Musica Sacra repeated each of its
semichorus in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius,          concert performances in Hamilton. It was a
with the Auckland Choral Society and the               worthwhile exercise, giving the choir more
Auckland Philharmonia under Peter Watts:               than one opportunity to perform pieces they
                                                       had worked hard to learn; but audiences were
                                                       too small to justify continuing these trips in
                                                       subsequent years.
           “…disciplined and imaginative choral singing…the singers created an enchanting weave of sound,
                     the Sanctus almost mesmerising in its waves of glorious vocalising” New Zealand Herald
“full-blooded and expressive” Sunday Star Times
                 “dramatically alive and vibrant yet sensitive to every expressive musical nuance” NZCF Breve
“They sing with passion. Clearly, a choir and conductor on the way up” The Listener

          This repertoire included Vaughan Williams’           The choir was in particularly fine voice in
          Mass in G minor; William Mundy’s great               the first part of 2005, making a return visit to
          antiphon Vox Patris Cœlestis, one of the great       Wellington, contributing with other choirs to
          peaks of Renaissance music; Bach’s motet             the Auckland Choral Society’s 150th anniversary
          Singet dem Herrn and a programme of music            celebrations, and enjoying the splendid sounds
          by Gibbons and Tomkins accompanied by a              of brass, organ and percussion in a performance
          specially assembled consort of viols. In July        of Rutter’s Gloria and other similar ceremonial
          2002 the choir’s first real website was launched,    works. Aside from the singing, however,
          replacing an early functional but basic site.        there was a need for significant change in the
          In September, Sir Charles Stanford’s 150th           structure and governance of the organisation.
          anniversary was appropriately commemorated,          The choir had outgrown its constitution as an
          and October saw the release of the choir’s second    Incorporated Society, and it was decided that
          CD, including Stanford’s Latin Magnificat and        it should be converted into a charitable trust.
          Rheinberger’s lush Cantus Missae.                    A new website was needed, and a new logo
          It was of this second CD that London’s               had to be designed, as part of a new branding
          prestigious International Record Review              exercise. Choral Evensongs would be transferred
          wrote: “…wonderfully rich and beautifully            to St Matthew-in-the-City and the choir’s base
          shaped performance, sung with such immense           would move from Khyber Pass to Ponsonby. A
          musicality and obvious enjoyment…a ‘must-            Trust Deed was drawn up and Trustees were
          have’ disc: with such distinct and compelling        appointed. While these changes, designed to
          singing it stands as one of the most impressive      raise the choir’s profile and to inject freshness
          choral discs I’ve heard for a very long time.”       and renewed momentum, were being made,
                                                               the choir went into recess in the second half of
          A 2003 performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass            the year, and Indra Hughes took a sabbatical to
          with the Auckland Philharmonia received a very       complete his doctorate.
          negative review, but the choir bounced back
          with a fine concert of Tavener and Pärt with the     Musica Sacra was relaunched at the start of 2006
          New Zealand premiere of Rutter’s now widely          with the exciting news of the acquisition of the
          known Hymn to the Creator of Light. In late          Donald Barriball Memorial Chamber Organ
          2003 Kevin Bishop became General Manager,            and the plans for its inaugural concert with John
          bringing his uniquely detailed skills in planning    Scott. Since then the choir has continued to go
          and business acumen.                                 from strength to strength, with further tours
                                                               to Wellington and most recently Christchurch;
          The choir explored some unfamiliar territory         collaborations with the Copenhagen Royal
          in 2004, with a concert of music by the almost       Chapel Choir, with the NZSO and others for
          forgotten Tudor composer Robert Ramsey and           Mahler’s Second Symphony, and with AK Barok;
          the New Zealand premiere of the extraordinary        well-attended monthly Choral Evensongs;
          and phenomenally difficult 12-part Earthquake        the choir’s third CD, Christmas a Cappella II,
          Mass by Antoine Brumel. Another departure            spending five weeks at number one in the Charts
          from precedent was the choir’s participation         at the end of 2007 and the start of 2008; and a
          in Mozart’s opera Idomeneo with the Auckland         series of splendid concerts of music by the great
          Chamber Orchestra and Auckland Opera                 sacred composers, including Bach, Vivaldi,
          Studio, with the singers perched high up on          Monteverdi, Palestrina, Parry, Howells, Victoria
          scaffolding on either side of the Town Hall          and—of course—Handel.
          Concert Chamber.
                                                               We look forward to the next ten years!
Chandos Anthem No 11 HWV 256a

James Brydges (1673-1744), Earl of Carnarvon
and MP for Hereford, made a vast fortune—at
least 600,000—as Paymaster-General to
the forces in Europe during the War of the
Spanish Succession from 1702-1714. In 1719
he was created the first Duke of Chandos.
He spent at least 200,000 on an astonishing
new palace called Cannons, at Edgware, not
far from London. The house was built in the
grandest possible Palladian style and set in
vast landscaped gardens; it was decorated with
carving by Grinling Gibbons and paintings by
Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio and Poussin, to
name but a few.
Daniel Defoe wrote: “No nobleman in
England, and very few in Europe, lives in
greater splendour, or maintains a grandeur and
magnificence, equal to the Duke of Chandos…
the palace is so beautiful in its situation, so lofty,
so majestick the appearance of it, that a pen can
but ill describe it…The whole structure is built
with such a Profusion of Expense and finished
with such a Brightness of Fancy and Delicacy of                James Brydges, First Duke of Chandos (detail)
Judgment”.                                                              by Michael Dahl 1659-1743

As part of his lavish lifestyle, the Duke                At the time Handel was there, the magnificent
maintained his own community of musicians—a              ducal chapel was still being constructed (it was
choir, orchestra, composer and conductor—and             not consecrated until 1720), and so the Anthems
at one stage even counted JS Bach’s cousin,              that he wrote for the Duke’s foundation were
Johann Christoph Bach, as one of his employees.          performed at the nearby church of St Lawrence,
But by far the most famous musician to have              Whitchurch. The church still stands, and the
enjoyed the Duke’s patronage was George                  Smith organ, just one year old when Handel
Frederick Handel. The 27-year-old Handel                 arrived, has been rebuilt as part of a 1994
worked as the Duke’s composer in residence               restoration.
from early August 1717 until late 1718. During
this period he completed the first ever English          The Duke’s musical foundation was a small one
Oratorio, Esther, the masque Acis and Galatea, a         and its makeup may possibly have been dictated
Te Deum and the eleven ‘Chandos Anthems’.                by the limited space available in St Lawrence’s.
                                                         Certainly the scoring of the Chandos Anthems
                                                         is unusual, having no violas as part of the usual
                                                         string band, and no altos in the choir. For those
                                                         Anthems that are written in four parts (like
                                                         no. 11), this presents a challenge to modern day
                                                         singers, since the ‘alto’ line is low for altos and
                                                         high for tenors.
The music of the Chandos Anthems is                          The glory of Cannons and the Chandos estate
delightful, with a direct and immediate                      was short lived. The Brydges family was badly
appeal. Part of their charm lies in Handel’s                 affected by the South Sea Bubble of 1720 (an
almost boyish enthusiasm and joie de vivre in                economic crisis caused by speculation in over-
his pictorial word-setting. In Let God arise,                valued stock of the South Sea Company). When
enemies are scattered with positive relish amid              the Duke died in 1744 he was succeeded by his
extraordinary semiquaver figures for the choir,              son Henry, who found the estate so much in
interrupted by surprising silences. The music                debt that he had no choice but to auction off
flees as do ‘them that hate him’. In the tenor               every single fixture and fitting. The colonnade
aria, the vanishing smoke and melting wax are                can now be seen in front of the National Gallery
vividly portrayed by sinuously winding lines.                in London, and the wrought-iron gates are at
A particularly splendid moment is the Adagio                 Trinity College, Oxford; almost everything else
‘Praised be the Lord’, starting with slow, quiet             has been lost. The house itself was demolished
choral trills surrounded by a halo of strings                in 1747, a mere 23 years after it was built at
and then expanding magnificently. At ‘both                   such vast expense. With the death of the third
the chariot and horse are fall’n’ the vocal lines            Duke in 1789, even the titles became extinct. We
tumble continuously downwards, but despite                   can be grateful that Handel’s marvellous music
the melodramatic subject matter, Handel                      survives.
manages to combine this with a tongue-in-cheek
hornpipe rhythm. The musical imagery is simple
but not facile: Handel shows off his contrapuntal
skill in the last chorus, assimilating a long cantus
firmus tune with vigorous Alleluias that seem
to foreshadow the famous Hallelujah Chorus in

                                                               Moderato - Allegro Moderato
                                                       Let God arise, and let his enemies be scatter’d;
                                                        let them also that hate him flee before him.
                                                              Like as the smoke vanisheth,
                                                             so shalt thou drive them away;
                                                             like as wax melteth at the fire,
                                                   so let the ungodly perish at the presence of God.
  Handel in 1720: a portrait by Sir John          Let the righteous be glad, and rejoice before God;
Thornhill, said to have been commissioned                  let them also be merry and joyful.
   by the Duke of Chandos; now in the
    Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge                                      Chorus
                                                   O sing unto God, and sing praises unto his name.
                                                                     Praised be the Lord!
                                                           At thy rebuke, O God, both the chariot
                                                                     and horse are fall’n.
                                                                   Blessed be God. Alleluja.
                                                                       Psalm 68:1-4 & 35
                                                                          Psalm 76:6
Covent Garden Theatre, scene of the first performance of the G minor Organ Concerto on 16 March 1750. The organ and a small orchestra can be seen on the stage.

  Opus 7 Number 5 HWV 310

  The magnificent Donald Barriball Memorial                                 Since Handel performed these concerti himself,
  Chamber Organ has become a prominent                                      he did not trouble to write the organ parts out in
  feature of many of Musica Sacra’s performances                            full and in the scores they are often presented as
  since its acquisition in 2006, and so it is                               a mere outline, requiring the modern organist
  appropriate that it take centre stage in this                             to fill the part out in an improvisatory manner;
  Tenth Anniversary celebration. As ever, we                                the organ part is often left as only a sketch with
  acknowledge with gratitude the generous                                   the words ad libitum written above it. In this
  contributions of the estate of the late Donald                            performance, Indra Hughes will play a cadenza
  Barriball, his sister Margaret, and the Chisholm                          specially written for the occasion by John Wells.
  Whitney Family Trust, all of which made the
  purchase of the organ possible. Full information                          The Op 7 No 5 concerto was first performed at
  about this beautiful and historic instrument, that                        the first performance of the oratorio Theodora
  was first used at the Royal Wedding in St Paul’s                          in 1750 at the Covent Garden Theatre (the
  Cathedral in 1981, can be seen at Musica Sacra’s                          forerunner of the present Covent Garden Opera
  website.                                                                  House). The chief glory of this concerto is the
                                                                            second movement, a series of variations on a
  Handel was to all intents and purposes the                                ground bass that is repeated by the orchestra
  inventor of the organ concerto. He introduced                             while the organist embellishes with increasingly
  organ concerti as entr’actes to his English                               elaborate invention above. This is Handel in one
  oratorios, which he developed as an alternative                           of his sunniest moods: pure Georgian swagger.
  to the Italian operas whose appeal had begun to
  fade with the London audience.
                                                                                   I Allegro ma non troppo, e staccato
                                                                                     II Andante larghetto, e staccato
                                                                                       III Adagio (organo ad libitum)
                                                                                                 IV Menuet
                                                                                                 V Gavotte
The Theatre Royal, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, scene of the first performance of the Ode for Saint Cecilia on 22 November 1739: engraving by George Shepherd

                                                                                   AN ODE FOR SAINT CECILIA’S DAY
                                                                       From harmony, from heav’nly harmony HWV 76

           The Feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music,                            Handel’s advertisement read:
           was celebrated with great pomp and ceremony
           in London between 1683 and 1703, in a series                                At the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, on
           of performances organized by the “Gentlemen                                 Thursday November 22 (being St. Cecilia’s Day),
           Lovers of Musick”. These festivities normally                               will be perform’d An Ode of Mr. Dryden’s, With
           included an ode in honour of St Cecilia, with a                             two new Concerto’s for Instruments. Which will
           central theme of the power of music to move the                                     be preceded by Alexander’s Feast.
           emotions. The leading poets of the day—Pope                                Handel’s audience, having a longer attention
           and Dryden—and the leading composers—                                      span than some audiences of today, expected a
           Henry Purcell, Jeremiah Clarke and Handel—                                 good three hours of entertainment. Alexander’s
           were often invited to set the ode to music.                                Feast was only about two hours, and in 1736
           Dryden wrote his first ode, Alexander’s Feast;                             Handel had to pad it out with an organ concerto
           or the Power of Musique in 1697. Jeremiah                                  and a harp concerto. His new setting would be
           Clarke was the first to set it to music, but that                          just under an hour, and he may have envisioned
           score is now lost. In 1736, long after the annual                          it as a kind of third act for Alexander’s Feast,
           celebrations had lapsed, Handel made a setting                             since both works have the same subject matter.
           of it, and in 1739 decided to set Dryden’s earlier                         The work was written at Handel’s usual
           ode, A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day of 1687. Handel                          breakneck pace in just nine days, from 15
           had just decided to transfer his performances                              September to 24 September 1739. It would be
           from the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket to                                wrong to conclude that he worked in a white-
           the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre. Whether by                               hot blaze of inspiration, for this was his usual
           accident or design, his first performance was to                           practice; nevertheless, Dryden’s poem drew from
           be on 22 November, St Cecilia’s Day, and this                              Handel some of his finest and most colourful
           may have motivated him to write a new Cecilian                             music.

Dryden’s Ode takes the conventional formula           Jubal’s ‘chorded shell’ (ie a lyre) is portrayed
of praising the power of music one step further       somewhat quixotically by a solo cello in long
than he or other poets did in other works. In         and beautiful solos in the first soprano aria.
the opening and closing sections of the piece,        (In the book of Genesis, Jubal is described as
he alludes to the ancient Greek idea that the         ‘the father of all such as handle the harp and
movement of the planets in space somehow              organ’. Perhaps Handel decided to give the solo
generates musical tones which define the kinds        instrumental line to the cello because he was
of sounds that seem harmonious to human ears.         saving the lute and the organ for later.)
Taking up this idea, Dryden goes so far as to         The martial character of the trumpets and
suggest that it was nothing less than the power       drums are brought to the fore in the next
of music which brought order out of chaos at          movement, one of Handel’s most exciting: a
the creation of the universe. Thus the ‘heap of       splendid showpiece for the tenor. A delightful
jarring atoms’ obey the power of music and fall       little March allows the singers to catch their
into harmony, just as Handel’s unsettled and          breath before both the flute and lute are featured
restless writing in the first tenor accompagnato      in the next delightfully gentle aria, full of
gradually becomes more regular.                       delicate instrumental and vocal colours.
At the end of his poem, Dryden suggests that          ‘Sharp’ violins are not out of tune in this context,
not only was music responsible for the creation       but clearly articulated. Roger North, author of
of the universe, but that it will play its part in    The Musicall Grammarian and Theory of Sounds,
the destruction of the universe at the end of         wrote of “a strong, snatching way of playing, to
time, through the ringing tones of the Last           make the music brisk and good.” In sedate and
Trumpet on the Day of Judgement (‘and music           dignified contrast, the ‘sacred Organ’ is featured
shall untune the sky’), and this is appropriately     next, with rather more understatement than
depicted by Handel with a thrilling trumpet call.     might have been expected; and the following
Between these somewhat grandiloquent (not             movement, perhaps incongrously marked
to say fanciful) claims for the power of music,       ‘Alla Hornpipe’, may be meant to illustrate the
which frame the work at beginning and end, the        savagery of the beasts, more than their tameness
central sections more conventionally describe         after they have been entranced by Orpheus’
the qualities of a short catalogue of instruments,    music.
together with their effects on the passions and       In an extraordinary moment that foreshadows
emotions of people: Handel responds with some         Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, Cecilia herself is
vividly imaginative instrumental and vocal solos      introduced on an opening second-inversion
and choruses.                                         tonic minor chord, almost as if a curtain has
The choir’s opening music lingers on a plain          been drawn back: a remarkable and most
tonic triad, simply to enjoy and illustrate the       unconventional procedure for the time. It was
word ‘harmony’; the inevitable response to            enough to distract the angel who happened to
‘through all the compass of the notes it ran’ is      appear, at any rate. Handel’s setting closes with
of course a series of scales, rushing first up and    one of his typically ebullient and joyful choruses.
then down in all parts of the choir and in the
                                                      As Musica Sacra celebrates ten years of
strings, followed by a series of rising and falling
                                                      magnificent music, it is appropriate to perform
arpeggios, from the basses’ bottom A all the way
                                                      a work that itself celebrates magnificent music,
up to the sopranos’ top A. It is all tremendous
                                                      and does so with no little splendour.
fun, and one gets the feeling that Handel is not
taking things too seriously.
Overture                                             7. March
Larghetto, e staccato—Allegro—Minuet
                                                     8. Aria (Soprano)
2. Recitative (Tenor)                                The soft complaining FLUTE
From Harmony, from heav’nly Harmony,                  In dying notes discovers
 This universal frame began.                          The woes of hopeless lovers,
                                                     Whose dirge is whisper’d by the warbling LUTE.
3. Accompagnato (Tenor)
                                                     9. Aria (Tenor)
When Nature underneath a heap
  Of jarring atoms lay,                               Sharp VIOLINS proclaim
  And could not heave her head:                      Their jealous pangs and desperation,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,               Fury, frantic indignation,
 “Arise! ye more than dead:”                         Depth of pains, and height of passion,
Then cold and hot, and moist and dry,                 For the fair disdainful dame.
In order to their stations leap,
  And MUSIC’S pow’r obey.                            10. Aria (Soprano)
                                                     But oh! what art can teach,
4. Chorus                                            What human voice can reach
From Harmony, from heav’nly Harmony,                  The sacred ORGAN’S praise?
 This universal frame began:                         Notes inspiring holy love,
 From Harmony to Harmony,                             Notes that wing their heav’nly ways
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,         To join the choirs above.
The diapason closing full in Man.
                                                     11. Aria (Soprano)
5. Aria (Soprano)                                    Orpheus could lead the savage race;
What passion cannot MUSIC raise and quell!           And trees uprooted left their place,
  When Jubal struck the chorded shell,               Sequacious of the LYRE.
His list’ning brethren stood around,
 And, wond’ring, on their faces fell,                12. Accompagnato (Soprano)
 To worship that celestial sound.                    But bright CECILIA rais’d the wonder high’r:
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell   When to her ORGAN vocal breath was giv’n,
 Within the hollow of that shell,                    An angel heard, and straight appear’d,
 That spoke so sweetly and so well.                  Mistaking earth for heaven.
What passion cannot MUSIC raise and quell!
                                                     13. Soprano and Chorus
6. Aria (Tenor) and Chorus                           As from the pow’r of sacred lays
The TRUMPET’S loud clangour                           The spheres began to move;
 Excites us to arms                                  And sung the great Creator’s praise
With shrill notes of anger,                           To all the bless’d above;
 And mortal alarms.                                  So when the last and dreadful hour,
The double, double, double beat                      This crumbling pageant shall devour;
 Of the thund’ring DRUM                              The TRUMPET shall be heard on high,
 Cries, hark! the foes come;                         The dead shall live, the living die,
Charge, Charge! ’tis too late to retreat.            And MUSIC shall untune the sky.

                                                                                John Dryden (1631-1700)
Pepe Becker                                         Iain Tetley
Pepe began her musical training in Nelson:          Iain Tetley started his musical training in England
as a chorister in Nelson Cathedral Choir; as        at the age of eight, where he studied singing
a pianist and singer in various school groups;      with John York Skinner, and obtained his music
and as an oboist in local orchestras. Moving to     degree at the University of East Anglia under the
Wellington in 1985, she developed a keen interest   directorship of Professor Peter Aston. He came to
in early music through singing in choirs such as    New Zealand in 1997, and has since performed
Cantoris and the Tudor Consort, and soon began      regularly as a tenor and baritone soloist with
performing professionally in this field.            choirs throughout the Auckland region and
After completing her BMus (in Composition)          further afield.
at Victoria University in 1987, she travelled to    He has been a member of Musica Sacra from
Europe in 1991 to further her studies of Baroque    1998-1999 and again since 2002. His solo
Singing. She trained privately for a year in        engagements have included the tenor part in
London with Jessica Cash, then moved to The         Musica Sacra’s inaugural concert for the Donald
Netherlands where she studied for a further year    Barriball Memorial Chamber Organ in August
with Marius van Altena at The Hague’s Koninklijk    2006, performing Bach’s Cantata 29 and Handel’s
Conservatorium.                                     Foundling Hospital Anthem. He has sung solo
Since her return to New Zealand in 1993, Pepe       in the choir’s performances of the Allegri
has set up her own vocal consort, Baroque Voices;   Miserere, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Bach’s Magnificat,
had three children; lectured in musicianship for    Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, and most
several years at Massey University and the New      recently the baritone solo in the Fauré Requiem in
Zealand School of Music; and become                 Christchurch. Other solo performances include
re-established as a versatile and highly sought-    Carmina Burana with Auckland Choral, the
after musician. In 1999 she became a member of      Mozart Requiem, Bach’s St Mark Passion, and
Voices New Zealand.                                 Handel’s oratorios Alexander’s Feast, Jephtha,
                                                    Joshua and Semele. Iain has also appeared with
She continues to perform regularly as a soloist
                                                    Viva Voce, Bach Musica, the Hamilton Civic
with chamber groups, choirs and orchestras
                                                    Choir and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
throughout New Zealand; directs, manages and
sings in Baroque Voices; composes music; and         While studying music at UEA, he specialised in
teaches piano and singing.                          conducting with Julian Webb. He was Musical
Pepe features as a soloist on various CDs,          Director of the Auckland Youth Choir from
including David Farquhar’s CD Half a Century        2003 to 2004. He regularly conducts the South
of Song, released in 2003; a Baroque duet CD,       Auckland Choral Society, and has directed Sing
Rustic Revelry, with bass David Morriss, released   Waiheke, a choir on Waiheke Island, for the
in November 2006; and two NAXOS CDs of              past six years. Iain directed three choirs and the
Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream,            St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra in a major
recorded in German in 2003 and in English in        performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A
2007.                                               Mass for Peace at the Auckland Town Hall in June
                                                    this year.
                                                                 AK Barok
                                                             Upcoming concerts

                                                                 Strings Italiana
                                                         with Miranda Hutton guest director
                                                         Saturday 2 May 2009 7.30pm
AK Barok                                                             and
                                                         Sunday 3 May 2009 2.00 pm
AK Barok was formed in 2004 when a core                  St Luke’s Church, 130 Remuera Rd
group of dedicated players of period baroque             music by Corelli, Geminiani, Vivaldi
instruments decided to meet regularly to explore
                                                                   and Wassenar
18th century string music. Under the leadership
of baroque violinist Graham McPhail and
cellist Helen Polglase, the band is comprised of
Auckland’s established baroque string specialists            AK Barok Chamber
as well as talented tertiary students. AK Barok         Sunday 2 August 2009 2.00pm,
also perform on modern instruments, enabling
                                                         St Luke’s Church, 130 Remuera Rd
them to contribute to Auckland’s musical life
                                                         Chamber works by Corelli, Telemann
in ensembles such as Auckland Choral’s Piper’s
Sinfonia and in accompanying Musica Sacra.                       Purcell and others

AK Barok’s director, Graham McPhail, has
degrees in performance (Otago), musicology
(Victoria) and education (Auckland), and                      AK Barok in concert
completed postgraduate study in baroque violin             with Rowena Simpson soprano
performance in The Hague with the world leader        Saturday 31 October 2009 7.30pm
of historical violin performance, Sigiswald                          and
Kuijken. Over the last twenty years Graham has
                                                      Sunday 1 November 2009 2.00pm
championed historical performance with the
ensemble Extempore and has worked as leader of            St Luke’s Church, 130 Remuera Rd
Bach Musica’s orchestra and of Piper’s Sinfonia.             programme to be announced
He has also taught many of New Zealand’s new
generation of young baroque players in his
capacity as teacher of baroque violin at Auckland
                                                        Visit our website:
Helen Polglase is a graduate of Victoria University
and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague               Join our emailing list by emailing us at
where she studied baroque cello with Jaap ter
Linden. Since her return to New Zealand, she
has performed extensively with Kowhai Baroque,                or telephone 416 6465
Bach Musica, Musica Sacra, Piper’s Sinfonia
and AK Barok.
Indra Hughes

Dr Indra Hughes, the Conductor of
Musica Sacra, is widely recognized as
one of the most distinguished musicians
working in New Zealand today. He received
his early training at the cathedral in
Blackburn, Lancashire, and at Oriel College,
Oxford, where he was Organ Scholar and
also took a degree in Law. He is a Fellow
of the Royal College of Organists and also
holds the Gerald H. Knight Memorial Prize
for the highest marks in the RCO Choir
Training Diploma examinations.
In March 2007 he became the first person
in New Zealand to be awarded the degree
of Doctor of Musical Arts (University of
Auckland), with a thesis presenting new
theories about the unfinished ending of
Contrapunctus 14 from JS Bach’s The Art
of Fugue. As part of his research, he had the
privilege of examining at first hand Bach’s
original manuscripts in the Staatsbibliothek
in Berlin. In September 2007 he was elected
a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He held a number of church music positions
in England before settling in New Zealand
in 1995 as Organist and Director of Music at
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland. He now
works as a freelance conductor, organist,
accompanist, examiner and speaker and he
is a well known and popular broadcaster
for Radio New Zealand, having presented
his own series as well as many Composer
of the Week programmes (including eight
programmes about JS Bach); he is also
Organist and Choirmaster at All Saints,
Indra Hughes has his own website at
                                                            The players of

Patron                                                      First Violin
Dr Barry Rose                                               Graham McPhail
                                                            Rosana Fea
Trustees                                                    Amelia Giles
Kerrin Vautier CMG (chairman)                               Kerry Langdon
Graeme Edwards
Tim McWhannell                                              Second Violin
Mary Whaley                                                 Fiona Haughton
                                                            Bianca Kofoed
General Manager                                             Jessica Lightfoot
Kevin Bishop                                                Lizzie Tibbles
Assistant Conductors                                        Wen-Chuan Lin
Anita Banbury                                               Alison Salmons
Iain Tetley
Musica Sacra Organist                                       Helen Polglase
John Wells                                                  Margaret Cooke

Musica Sacra Organ Scholar                                  Double Bass
Yuri Lee                                                    Elizabeth Lau
Soprano                      Tenor                          Alison Jepson
Sheena Ablett                Dylan Bland                    Mathew Ryan
Wendy Ashenden               Timothy Gordon
Catherine Blomfield          Jonathan Houldsworth           Bassoon
Margaret Cammell             Richard Phillips               Ben Hoadley
Jenny Firth                  Iain Tetley †                  Trumpet
Ann Gibbard                                                 Peter Reid
Jenny Gorbey                 Bass                           Matthew Verrill
Nicola Horne †               Matthew Barker
Isabel Hunt †                Nicholas Forbes                Flute
Hilary Monteith †            Chris Karayiannis              Sally Tibbles
Jinny Park                   Nikolas Krawchenko †
Lana Peat                    Stuart Lithgow                 Timpani
Jacqueline Ponting           Ben Morhart                    Byung Park
Kay Thiel                    Colin Newel                    Lute
Hanna Wilberg                Peter Smith                    Jonathan Le Cocq
Jo Wordley
Alto                                                        James Tibbles
Anita Banbury †
Margaret Barriball †
                                                            John Wells
Dianne Cameron
Albertien Chignell †
Kimberly Kim
Margo Knightbridge †          foundation members who
                             sang at Musica Sacra’s first
Lesley Phillips              performance on 19 December
Belinda Sydenham             1998
   new photo of choir goes here - image to be supplied on 31 Oct 2008

                    this frame is 15cm wide and is centred on the page.
                            (left edge at 2cm, right edge at 17cm)
                            Top of frame is 2cm from top of page.
                Height of image may alter depending on aspect ratio of photo.

                                     Musica Sacra, October 2008 (photo: Kevin Bishop)

A message from the choir’s Patron

Barry Rose was successively Director of Music at Guildford Cathedral; Master of the Choir at St Paul’s Cathedral,
London and then of The King’s School, Canterbury; Religious Music Advisor to the BBC; and Organist and Master
of the Choristers at St Alban’s Abbey, retiring in 1997. He is regarded by many as the greatest choir trainer in
Britain. He has been Musica Sacra’s Patron since its foundation.

                                                  Any anniversary is a cause for celebration, but the tenth
                                                  anniversary of Musica Sacra gives us special cause to
                                                  celebrate. As the choir’s Patron, from the other side of the
                                                  world, I am delighted and honoured to salute your many
                                                  achievements, both vocally and musically. Having been in
                                                  Auckland at the time of your ‘birth’, I know how fortunate
                                                  you have been to have had the continuity of the one musical
                                                  director since that time, whose musicality and skill has
                                                  shaped you into the accomplished group you are, with the
                                                  deserved reputation you now enjoy. By the miracles of
                                                  modern technology, I sit here, bathed in the sound of your
                                                  singing of Charles Wood’s glorious Nunc Dimittis from your
                                                  second CD, as I write this small but well deserved tribute.

    Musica Sacra acknowledges with gratitude the generous financial support of
           Newmarket Rotary

           Nick Main
           John and Beverley Graham
           Bill Horne
           and a number of other donors who wish to remain anonymous

    programme notes, design & setting: Indra Hughes
    proofreaders: Hilary Monteith & Hanna Wilberg
    keyboards prepared by Paul Downie
    rehearsal space: All Saints Church, Ponsonby
    St Matthew in the City
    Yvonne Cossar
    Boston Digital
    EFTPOS Specialists (Auckland) Ltd

    Printed by (Colin McGinley, director), using only paper from sustainable forests

                      CHRISTMAS CONCERT
Musica Sacra’s ever-popular concert of favourite Christmas Carols
                Last year St Patrick’s Cathedral was filled to capacity:
                        arrive early to be sure of a good seat!

SATURDAY 20 DECEMBER 8.00pm | St Patrick’s Cathedral, Wyndham Street
           Admission FREE | retiring collection (suggested amount $20)

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