REVERENT CADENCE AND SUBTLE PSALM
Mousai makes a welcome return to St James’s Piccadilly for this short lunchtime concert. Under the direction of their associate director, Quintin Beer, this 22-strong choir presents a varied programme of choral music inspired by Caecilian devotion. The programme has two epi-centres. The first is Britten’s secular anthem Hymn to St Cecilia, a playful and tantalising setting of a poem by W.H. Auden about the patron saint of music. Inspired by such female devotion, the choir will also sing music of Marian dedication, including Judith Weir’s sonorous setting of Ave Regina Caelorum. Mendelssohn’s epic psalm setting Mein Gott, mein Gott, warum hast du mich verlassen forms the other central component of the programme. Gripping, psychological and at times incendiary, this piece demonstrates Mendelssohn’s choral and dramatic writing at its very best. With Alonso Lobo’s beautifully melancholic Versa est in luctum and Villette’s syrupy Hymne à la Vierge, this richly diverse concert is not to be missed.