The Sixteen, along with their orchestra, are touring Monteverdi’s Vespers this month including a visit to Chichester Cathedral on February 14.
It comes as the group celebrates its 40th anniversary, as spokeswoman Joanna Peskett explains: “In May 1979, a group of singers and instrumentalists, brought together and conducted by Harry Christophers, gave their first concerts as The Sixteen.
“Now, 40 years later, the choir celebrates its ruby anniversary with a season full of concerts all over the UK and internationally, going back to key works in its history which have provided its foundation as well as looking forward with new commissions. This mixture has cemented the choir as one of the world’s greatest ensembles, known for its tonal richness, expressive intensity and compelling collective artistry.
“The Sixteen and its own period instrument ensemble begin the celebrations with a nine-venue UK tour in February and June of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, one of the most significant collections of sacred music ever written with thrilling rhythms, grand choruses and beautiful solo movements.
“Its virtuosity stretches every singer and instrumentalist’s versatility to the limit, yet the effects of his demands are exhilarating. The choir follows Monteverdi’s dictum recitar cantando (speak through singing) to maximum effect, bringing this glorious work to life in the wonderful acoustics of some of the UK’s finest cathedrals.”
Dates include Chichester Cathedral (February 14), Worcester Cathedral (February 15), Rochester Cathedral (February 16), St Albans Cathedral (February 23) and Saffron Hall (June 9).
Joanna added: “In celebration of the 40th anniversary, The Sixteen’s award-winning record label, CORO, releases five albums by the ensemble including a special 40th anniversary collection comprising 40 tracks which have defined The Sixteen over the last four decades. With personal recommendations from members both past and present, this beautifully-packaged album promises to be the must-have collection for all fans of choral music.
“Other releases include a new recording of Handel’s Acis and Galata; music by Purcell and Palestrina, two composers The Sixteen have championed to critical acclaim; and a disc which includes all the music from The Choral Pilgrimage 2019, released on March 1. The Sixteen will also release two albums this autumn – Star of Heaven: The Eton Choirbook Legacy which features four stunning new Genesis Foundation commissions inspired by the legendary choirbook, and A Renaissance Christmas featuring some magnificent festive music.”