Taking inspiration from the architectural splendours of cathedrals across the nation, City of London Sinfonia (CLS) embarks on a series of musical evenings from Thursday 3 to Wednesday 23 October evoking the mystical atmosphere of these places of sanctuary both ancient and modern.
In partnership with Friends of Cathedral Music (FCM), The Fruit of Silence Cathedrals Tour is the latest venture by CLS to offer seriously informal and immersive concert experiences in some of the UK’s most beautiful cathedrals. Audience members can settle on cushions or wander the building freely in contemplative thought, listening to meditative works by Arvo Pärt, Dobrinka Tabakova and Pēteris Vasks interspersed by contemporary choral music performed by each Cathedral Choir.
Chief Executive Matthew Swann said:
“Our Cathedrals Tour is a contemporary take on ancient musical traditions. We will celebrate the beautiful architecture and musical heritage of our cathedrals by inviting audiences to experience music in an immersive and interactive setting – answering a growing need for spirituality and ritual in busy modern lives with an informal and nontraditional approach, and moving, meditative contemporary music.”
Watch CLS’s video of their most recent immersive performance at Southwark Cathedral, produced by Apple and Biscuit Recordings.
Each concert culminates in Centuries of Meditations, composed for strings, harp and choir by British-Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova (1980-) – one of 11 British classical pieces supported by the PRS Foundation’s Resonate programme in the 2019-20 Season. The work celebrates cathedrals in all their splendour through four movements inspired by four stained glass windows in Hereford Cathedral, setting texts by philosopher Thomas Traherne (c.1637 – 1674).
“If God, as verses say, a Spirit be
We must in Spirit like the Deity
Become: we must the Image of His mind
And union with it, in our Spirit find.”
Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations
The Cathedrals Tour takes its title from Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks’ The Fruit of Silence. Setting words by Mother Teresa, the introspective writing traces a line between spirituality and peace. Two compositions by the revered Estonian composer Arvo Pärt draw inspiration from Gregorian chant, heard daily within cathedral walls: Fratres and Summa draw in the listener through the mesmerising variations on simple repeated diatonic phrases.
Touring their programme across the UK, City of London Sinfonia is joined by the Cathedral Choirs of each venue who perform choral works of their choice (such as James MacMillan’s A New Song and Eric Whitacre’s A Seal Lullaby), embracing CLS’s immersive style of performing in different areas around the cathedrals.
Dates and venues
You can view all tour dates on the CLS Cathedrals Tour page at cls.co.uk. The Fruit of Silence is being performed at:
- Worcester Cathedral: Thursday 3 October >>
- Exeter Cathedral: Friday 4 October >>
- Bristol Cathedral: Saturday 5 October >>
- Liverpool Cathedral: Wednesday 9 October >>
- Sheffield Cathedral: Friday 11 October >>
- Bradford Cathedral: Saturday 12 October >>
- *Truro Cathedral: Thursday 17 October >>
- Llandaff Cathedral: Friday 18 October >>
- Lichfield Cathedral: Wednesday 23 October >>
*Denotes BBC Radio 3 broadcast, Tuesday 29 October, 7.30pm
The Fruit of Silence Cathedrals Tour is presented in partnership with Friends of Cathedral Music and is supported by the John Ellerman Foundation and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Centuries of Meditations (Dobrinka Tabakova) is championed by Resonate, a PRS Foundation initiative in partnership with Association of British Orchestras, BBC Radio 3 and Boltini Trust.
For more information on any of the above, please contact Nicky Thomas Media.