Devotions | VOCES8
Tuesday 5th May 2015
7.30pm Sherborne Abbey
Presented by candlelight and including masterworks from five centuries, Devotions explores the beauty of sacred choral music in an inspiring and atmospheric concert presentation. Built around devotional texts written by Saint Augustine and set to music in Alexander Levine’s 2013 commission for Voces8, the ensemble will explore the acoustic qualities of the performance venue with chant, polyphony, spirituals and candlelit processions. Devotions includes music taken from the Decca Classics album to be released in 2015.
“’Radiant’ and ‘luminous’ are adjectives that are perhaps overused in describing choral sound, but in this case they are fully deserved” – Stephen Eddins, AllMusic
“Pitch-perfect harmonies, in dreamily sumptuous sonics.” – BBC Music Magazine
If you like The Sixteen, you will love Voces8!
The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is now established as one of the most versatile and best-loved singing groups in the world. Touring extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia, the ensemble performs a repertory from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary commissions and arrangements.
In recent seasons VOCES8 has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cite de la Musique Paris, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Highlights of the 2014/2015 season include performances at Bozar Brussels, Lund Festival, Berliner Dom, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Canterbury Festival, 3 Choirs Festival, Moscow International House of Music, the ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, return visits to Tokyo Opera City, Wigmore Hall, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, La Folle Journée France, and a debut tour of Canada.
Artistic collaborations have included the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensemble Les Inventions, violinist Hugo Ticciati and cellist Matthew Sharp. The group is delighted to commission renowned contemporary composers including Ola Gjeilo, Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Eriks Esenvalds and Ben Parry, alongside Jim Clements as the ensemble’s Arranger in Residence.
With an ongoing programme of recordings and live broadcast, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international television and radio, including MPR, the BBC and Classic FM. VOCES8 is a Decca Classics Artist and will release its second album this season. The debut album, ‘Eventide’, went straight to the top of the Classical Charts on its release. The ensemble has also recorded a series of award-winning discs for Signum Classics, with ‘A Purcell Collection’ released most recently in April 2014 (BBC Music Magazine Critics Choice). In 2013, the ensemble was nominated for seven CARA Awards, winning in the categories for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Song. VOCES8 is an Ambassador for Edition Peters with whom it publishes arrangements and educational material, including the ‘VOCES8 Songbook’ and ‘The VOCES8 Method’.
As the flagship ensemble of the charitable music foundation Voces Cantabiles Music (VCM), VOCES8 has an enviable reputation for its education work. The ensemble leads an innovative series of music education workshops reaching 20,000 people annually around the world with the aim of inspiring creativity and excellence through music. The innovative education work of VCM has received praise from UNESCO and since 2005 has raised £1 million towards music education in the UK. In 2013 VCM established the Gresham Centre in partnership with the Diocese of London, a vocal Centre for Excellence at Sir Christopher Wren’s beautiful St Anne & St Agnes Church in the City of London. This season VOCES8 continues as resident ensemble at Bedford School, Ardingly College, Bradfield College and The Grey Coat Hospital, and begins a new relationship with Birmingham University. It also leads the Milton Abbey Summer School.
VOCES8 has received support from Arts Council England, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Worshipful Company of Musicians. The group is also grateful for the support of official sponsor, T.M.Lewin.