Renaissance Music Group Choir

Welcome to the Renaissance Music Group Choir web site.  Here, you can find details of our upcoming concerts and how to join us as a singer.  New singers are always welcome – for more details click here.

We now have a Newsletter which can be found in the Newsletters section of this web site, or you can join the mailing list by clicking here and filling in the form. 
 
To introduce ourselves: We are a small, friendly choir, specialising in European choral music up to about 1650.  We sing two main concerts each year in Liverpool Cathedral Lady Chapel, in March and December. We also provide the music for a small number of church services throughout the year, beginning with a traditional service for us at St Asaph Cathedral each Autumn.

Our next performances:

  • Tears
    • Christchurch, Higher Bebington, Sunday 15th March 6:30 pm
    • Liverpool Cathedral Lady Chapel, Sunday 22nd March, 8:00 pm
    • John Dowland - Seaven Lacrimae
    • Orlando Lasso - St Peter’s Tears of Repentance
In the events of Holy Week described in the Gospels, two disciples come to the fore: Judas who betrayed Jesus to the authorities and, realising his guilt, went out and hanged himself; and Peter who protested his support for his master, three times denied knowing him, also went out, wept bitterly, yet lived to be a leader of the Early Church – two repentant figures.

In earlier times, it was common to perform public acts of penance - walking in a public place barefoot, wearing sackcloth, by approaching some holy place on their knees, as did King Henry II when implicated in the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket. In 1535 the Italian poet Luigi Tonsillo published a mildly erotic poem but in 1559 it was put onto the newly established Index Librorum Prohibitorum, together with all his subsequent works. As his act of penance he composed a long poem and as a subject, seized upon Peter, the archetypal penitential figure, in Le Lagrime di San Pietro - The Tears of Saint Peter. The poem proved very popular and he sent it to Pope Paul IV, regretting his juvenile indiscretion .

Now the much-famed composer Orlandus Lassus (contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I) had with fluency and imagination set to music a great many texts ranging from the religious and elevated to the secular and anything but. Toward the end of his life he may have come to regret some of this: possibly as an act of penance he set to music about half of Tansillo’s poem - the longest set of Madrigali Spirituali ever written. He too dedicated it to the then pope – Clemens VIII. Seven of them will be performed in the Lent recitals to be given by the Renaissance Music Group, interleaved by the much better known Seaven Lachrimae (Seven Tears) of John Dowland played by the Chester Viols.


We would like to have more singers to join and help us perform this splendid music. There is a lot of information about the group on this site, or you can ring Alan Wilson  0151-427 3791 or email Morris Davies at eb20@liverpool.ac.uk. Anyone interested  is welcome to come to a rehearsal.  These are held on Wednesdays from 7.30-10:00 in the University School of Music, off Oxford Street, during university term time.


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