Music and Readings for Advent

Choral and Organ music for the Season — The Crown Singers with members of Musica Beata.

Howells – Three Carol Anthems
Bach – Cantata no. 140 – Sleepers Wake

Organ – Christopher Cromar
Director – Paul Hedley

Saturday 26th November, 7:30 p.m. at Grove Parish (St John the Baptist) Church, Main Street, Grove, Wantage OX12 7LQ.

Tickets £10 from Wantage Museum or tel. 762146, or at the door

Musica Beata at the Petworth Festival – 1 August 2015, 12 Noon

Saturday 1 August 2015
12 noon – 1.15pm (No interval)
St Mary’s Church Petworth GU28 0AD

A truly fascinating companion concert to the Come and Sing day of the Festival’s opening weekend.

In a concert which takes the madrigal as its musical starting point, the audience is invited to take a close up glimpse of the preparation and work of the singer.

The eight top professional members of Musica Beata will initially sit in the middle of the audience, in so doing breaking down the traditional “glass partition” that exists between the two. The audience will be able to look over the singers’ shoulders, share the intimacy of the connections the performers have with each other and with the conductor, and have an opportunity to experience the music-making from the inside.

And then the concert…

Anon Summer is icumen in
John Bennet All Creatures Now
John Dowland Weep
Edmund Rubbra Five Madrigals Op. 51
Steve Martland Summer Rounds
John Rutter Draw on sweet night (from Birthday Madrigals)
Thomas Weelkes Thule
Ralph Vaughan-Williams Echo’s lament for Narcissus
John Mundy Lightly she whipped o’er the dales.


Adult £13
18 and Under £5
Unreserved Seating.

Concert at the Three Choirs Festival – Tuesday 30 July 2013

Musica Beata will be appearing for the second time at this year’s Three Choirs Festival on the evening of Tuesday 30 July 2013 at 10.15pm in Gloucester Cathedral.

We will be performing a programme built around the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, Gesualdo – Sacrae Cantiones I (in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the composer’s death in 1613) and the sublime Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt, in its original version for 3 solo singers and 3 strings.

We will be joined by principals from the Philharmonia Orchestra.

For further details and tickets, follow this link.

The Art of A Cappella – 7.30pm 14 May, Holywell Music Room, Oxford

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the choir, Musica Beata is running a new brand of concert on Wednesday May 14 in the Holywell Music Room in Oxford. While the second half of the event will be a traditional performance, the first half will give the audience direct access to both the performers and the music on a much deeper level than is normal in such scenarios. The singers will be ’embedded’ within the audience for the first part of the evening, giving unprecedented opportunities to delve beneath the surface of the music and music-making associated with singing a cappella, whether with or without a conductor. The programme will include madrigals by Byrd, Le Jeune and Wilbye, sets of pieces by Debussy and Moeran and contemporary work by Nicholas Brown and the Danish composer Per Nørgård.

Musica Beata will be joined by its Principal Guest Conductor, Peter Hanke, alongside the Director, Paul Hedley.

Tickets are available from Tickets Oxford or on the door.

Listing on

Voces Academy and Exart Performances

September has been an extremely busy month of collaborations between Musica Beata and both the Voces Academy and Exart Performances.  Early September saw the first Voces Academy Caravan, in which Peter Hanke and four aspiring young conductors from three different countries travelled across four countries in five days taking part in workshops and masterclasses.  It was an inspiring, though exhausting, week for all concerned.

September has also seen multiple events with the Said Business School in various different guises with both Peter and Paul working with diverse and international groups in both conducting and ensemble exercises.

Thoughts are now moving towards the winter and into 2014.  Watch this space …..

Concert at St Mark’s Hamilton Terrace – Sunday 21 July

Musica Beata will be giving it’s first London Concert in some years on Sunday 21 July at 7pm in St. Mark’s Hamilton Terrace, NW8 9UT.

We will be performing a programme built around the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary, and including Gorecki – Totus Tuus, Gesualdo – Sacrae Cantiones I and the sublime Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt, in its original version for 3 solo singers and 3 strings.

Tickets (on the door): £10, 7.50 concession
free for under 18’s

Songs of Springtime – reviewed in Musical Opinion

  (5 stars)
One of the finest records I have heard in recent months, this collection is outstandingly well chosen, immaculately performed and superbly recorded. Not all of the repertoire will be well known, and it is a pleasure to encounter Elgar’s Three Choral Songs Opus 18 alongside two other settings by him, Moeran’s complete Songs of Springtime (seven latter-day madrigalesque settings) and Vaughan Williams’s perennial Three Shakespeare Songs, plus three immaculate Stanford settings – all quite varied and masterfully laid out for voice. A magnificent disc. [RM-W]
Musical Opinion – May 2013

Songs of Springtime – reviewed by Music Web International

A few choice excerpts taken from a (much!) longer review available on Musicweb-International, by Nick Barnard.

“This is a thoroughly charming CD. Recitals such as this tend to be unique by the composition of the programme rather the content itself. So it proves here. All of the repertoire is well known and easily available on a mixture of other CDs. Yet for sheer quality of execution and musicianship this new disc must be considered the equal of most.”

“…beautifully blended and refined tone allied to a sensitive awareness of the text.”

“Moeran’s Songs of Springtime open the disc and gives it its title. This seven-song cycle is Moeran’s tribute to the Elizabethan madrigalists. The texts are all taken from that time, yet set with just enough bittersweet harmony to show its 20th century roots. They are an acknowledged masterpiece in the genre and receive an excellent performance here. As mentioned the choir are fully sensitive to the nuances of the music and text but this never tips over into an overly-arch or knowing manner. I would count this the most satisfactory of the three versions I know.”

“Robert Pearsall’s Lay a Garland from 1840 pays a debt of musical gratitude to Renaissance Italian music rather than the English Madrigal tradition. This is an absolute gem and is performed with some brilliance by the choir. I like very much the way they mould their collective tone to suit this markedly different style – it’s an altogether more austere yet sensuous. Again the carefully balanced and blended choral sound pays major dividends. My only sorrow is that it lasts less than three minutes! John Bennet’s All Creatures Now is his well-known contribution to Thomas Morley’s Triumphs of Oriana. It provides the listener with a reference point from which most of the rest of the programme sprang.

“Overall a most enjoyable set of performances of beautiful music.”