Sacred music from through the centuries

Hepton Singers, picture by Craig Shaw of Blu Planet Photography
Hepton Singers, picture by Craig Shaw of Blu Planet Photography

Popular West Yorkshire chamber choir, the Hepton Singers, returns for its annual summer concert in Heptonstall Parish Church on July 13.

The choir will be performing a variety of a cappella sacred music constructed around the four movements of Thomas Tallis’ Mass for Four Voices. The movements of the mass will be spread throughout the programme, and provide its centrepiece.

“Tallis was without doubt one of the key figures in European Renaissance sacred music,” says conductor Alison West. Tallis composed exclusively in England and for half of his long life (unusually for his time, he lived to be 80) worked in the Chapel Royal and lived in nearby Greenwich.

The choir will travel from the Renaissance – with the aforementioned Tallis work, and music by Palestrina, Guerrero, Gesualdo and Monteverdi – through the Baroque, with pieces by Michael Praetorius and Henry Purcell (whose sublime piece Hear My Prayer gives the title to the programme). It will then head into the 20th and 21st centuries with music by Arvo Pärt, James MacMillan, Kerry Andrew and Tarik O’Regan.

The Singers will also perform the world premiere of two pieces by Alison West, The Parable Of The Fig Tree and For The Waters Are Come In, both written following the death of her father.

Says Alison: “The evening promises to be an eclectic mix of wonderful choral music, reflecting many diverse moods and styles.”

The concert starts at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at £8, £6 and £1.