O Magnum Mysterium

Saturday 16 December 2017, 7:30 pm
St Cross Church, Winchester

A Concert of Christmas Music and Readings

including settings of O magnum mysterium by
Victoria, Palestrina, Poulenc & Morten Lauridsen

and carols for choir and audience

guest director - Mark Williams
reader - James McConnachie

Tickets £16 (concessions £14; children 17 and under £5) are now available via the Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275 - booking fees apply)

Our final concert of 2017 focuses on telling the Christmas story from the perspective of the different witnesses: the animals, the shepherds, and the wise men.

The traditional setting of the nativity - with animals watching over the babe in the manger - is described in the medieval text “O magnum mysterium” and we performed four versions of this motet, two from the 16th century (Palestrina and Victoria) and two from the 20th (Francis Poulenc and the American composer Morten Lauridsen). We were delighted to be joined by local author James McConnachie, who presented readings on the same theme.

Several other composers were represented in the programme, from the Renaissance to the present day - including two Winchester residents: Mark Williams (who also was also our guest conductor) and Oliver Tarney from the music department at Winchester College.

To get fully into the Christmas spirit, the audience joined the choir in familiar carols such as “While shepherds watched” and “Hark! the herald angels sing”. An excellent evening was guaranteed for all.