How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’

This well-known verse from Psalm 137, a hymn of captivity and longing for homeland and religious freedom, give this programme its title and its theme.  In a Strange Land explores man’s search for heaven and earth in the Old and the New World in the turbulence of the 16th and 17th centuries.  There is music of religious conflict and of discovery from England, France, Holland, Spain – and from Mexico and Bolivia, the world of the Aztecs and Incas.  The programme includes William Byrd’s exquisite Mass for Four Voices alongside gems by Gesualdo, Lobo, Tallis and Victoria,  the lilting syncopation of Juan Gutierrez de Padilla’s Missa ego flos campi, and rhythmically-arresting music from the Latin American Baroque, full of evocative, indigenous imagery.

Ex Cathedra has received rapturous acclaim for its performances and recordings of Baroque music from Latin America, featuring many pieces newly-unearthed during the research of artistic director Jeffrey Skidmore. Based in Birmingham, and founded in 1969 by Jeffrey Skidmore, Ex Cathedra is a leading UK choir and Early Music ensemble. It is celebrated for seeking out the best, the unfamiliar and the unexpected in the choral repertoire while delivering performances of authority, style and passion.

In a Strange Land

Arbeau: Belle qui tiens ma vie
Genevan Psalter: Estans assis aux rives aquatiques
Sweelinck: Estans assis aux rives aquatiques                              ~
Byrd: Mass for Four Voices: Kyrie, Gloria~
Weelkes: Thule, the Period of Cosmography
Weelkes: The Andalusian Merchant
Byrd: Mass for Four Voices: Credo
Tomkins: When David Heard
Tallis: Why fum’th in fight
Tallis: If ye love me
Byrd: Mass for Four Voices: Sanctus
Byrd: Ave verum corpus
Byrd: Mass for Four Voices: Agnus Dei
Gibbons: O clap your hands together
Ritual, Lima (1631) : Hanac pachap cussicuinin
Victoria: Super flumina Babylonis a 8
Padilla: Missa ego flos campi: Kyrie, Gloria
14th century Spanish: Polorum regina
Fernandes: Xicochi  conetzintle
Symbolico Catholico Indiano (1598): Capac eterno Dios
Padilla: Missa ego flos campi: Credo
Pascual: ¡Oy es día de placer y de cantar!
Padilla: Missa ego flos campi: Sanctus
Lobo: Versa est in luctum
Padilla: Missa ego flos campi: Agnus Dei
Hernández: Sancta Maria, e!
Zéspedes: Convidando esta la noche
Anon: Dulce, Jesús mío

DIRECTOR: Jeffrey Skidmore