Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ealing Abbey Choir in New York

The Ealing Abbey Choir of Men and Boys, one of the U.K.'s premiere Catholic choirs, is giving their first performance in New York City as part of their inaugural concert tour of the United States at the Church of Saint Agnes (143 East 43rd Street, Manhattan) on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 6:15 PM. Their repertoire for this hour-long concert is drawn from the Catholic liturgical repertoire spanning four centuries, from Tudor England through Twentieth century works.

Ealing Abbey Choir was founded in 1908 by Dom Cyril Rylance (1880-1958), a monk of the monastery, coming into existence as the Catholic Church in England was rediscovering its musical heritage through the works of Renaissance composers and Gregorian chant. The choir’s repertoire of Gregorian chant and Latin polyphony is now enhanced by the inclusion of many works by twentieth century composers such as Howells, Duruflé, Messiaen, Taverner, and Jonathan Dove.

The Abbey Choir consists of treble boy choristers and six professional lay clerks. The choristers are all pupils of Saint Benedict’s School, Ealing, where they are musically active, and each receives scholarships for singing and instrumental lessons.

The choir’s principal commitment revolves around the liturgy in the Abbey Church each week and especially during Christmas and Easter. Outside of the liturgy the choir is extremely active. Recently the choir has recorded Bruckner’s motets with ‘Herald’, and Personent Hodie, a CD of music for Christmas, toured Barcelona, Switzerland, Rome, and Strasbourg to great acclaim, and given concert performances of Bach’s Saint John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina Burana at Cadogan Hall.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: