Saturday, 3 July 2010
The Sixteen at Christ the Cornerstone
A great evening at Christ the Cornerstone, Milton Keynes, with a performance by The Sixteen of Thomas Tallis, William Byrd and John Sheppard. This was part of their nationwide Choral Pilgrimage Tour, twenty-six venues, most of which are historic churches.
Tallis, Byrd and Sheppard, all Catholics, held appointments at the Chapel Royal and needed to be supremely adaptable to the changing circumstances: Henry VIII was succeeded first by his Protestant son Edward VI, then by his fervently Catholic daughter Mary, and finally by her half-sister Elizabeth I. Although a more moderate form of Protestantism was established in her reign, it was no small thing to express their devotion to the Catholic faith through the glorious music they composed.
A nice touch: when the Church of Christ the Cornerstone, the first ecumenical city centre church, was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on Friday 13 March 1992, Basil Hume, was the first Roman Catholic Cardinal to preach before the reigning monarch in over 400 years.