‘The finest choral group in existence.’ Gramophone
Internationally honoured as one of the most distinguished choirs in the world, The Sixteen’s commitment to choral music is denoted by its impressive repertoire from early English polyphony, Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary A Cappella choral works. Established by Harry Christophers in 1979, with a group of 16 friends, The Sixteen always sound as one fine voice regardless the number of members it has.
Over 140 recordings reflect The Sixteen’s excellent quality in a range of work spanning the music of five centuries, having garnered most of the important recording awards including Diapason d’Or, Gramophone Award for Early Music and the Classical Brit Award for Renaissance. The choir was also given the accolade of Artist of the Year in 2009 by the authority magazine on classical music Gramophone, a testament to their outstanding achievements.
The Sixteen returns to Hong Kong with jewels of two masters in sacred choral music: Palestrina, whose works of immaculate polyphonic and textual clarity marked the highest achievement of Renaissance music, and Poulenc, a colourful yet deeply reflectional voice from the 20th century France.
Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence
Un Soir de neige
Agnus Dei (from Mass in G)
Surge amica mea
Parce mihi, Domine
Surgam et circuibo civitatem
Peccantem me quotidie
Kyrie and Gloria (from Missa L’Homme Arme)
Credo (from Missa L’Homme Arme)
A Journey of Redemption Leon Chu (Music Critic)
The Sixteen is making a return after their visit in 2012. Following their appearance with an orchestra performing the all-Handel programme five years ago, The Sixteen will present an all a-cappella programme, featuring music by the 16th century Italian Renaissance composer, Palestrina and the early 20th century French composer, Poulenc.
More than sixteen
When looking at the number of singers in the promotional photo, one might question the name “The Sixteen”. Founded by Harry Christophers and sixteen friends in 1977, the then unnamed choral group decided to name themselves by the number of singers when they made their debut in 1979. Nowadays, the actual number of singers varies between 8 to 40 depending on the choice of repertoire.
Endless Pursuit of Atonement
The Sixteen holds annual “Choral Pilgrimage”, a nation-wide tour in England in various cathedrals. The theme of 2017 is “Conflict and Atonement” with programme featuring works by Palestrina and Poulenc, the same programme will be performed in Hong Kong.
The programme of sacred music related to the theme of atonement and redemption includes Palestrina’s Parce mihi, Domine, Surgam et circuibo civitatem, Peccantem me quotidie, and Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence, Agnus Dei from Mass in G, as well as two different settings of Salve Regina by the two composers.
Echoes of War
Although Poulenc is known for his delightful sense of humour, one can also find seriousness in his music. Since the death of his composer friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud in 1936, Poulenc started to explore writing choral music (mainly sacred). In the Christmas of 1944, Poulenc spent three days to complete his setting of four poems by Paul Eluard. The chamber cantata was titled “Un Soir de neige,” and the piece shows his thirst for peace during a time of tumult.
Palestrina’s “Missa L’Homme Arme” is chosen as a companion piece to “Un Soir de neige”. The secular tune “L’Homme Arme” was popular during the Renaissance, the tune of which was quoted by over 40 composers as the cantus firmus in their parody masses. Palestrina’s quotation serves as a crude reminder of the cruelty of war.
While the two masters came from different eras and had unique experience and feelings toward war, they shared the same aspiration for peace. In this concert, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen will present to you the spiritual sides of the two composers.
Tickets available from 11 August at URBTIX outlets, on Internet, by Mobile Ticketing App and Credit Card Telephone Booking.
Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients.
(Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis.)
"The Sixteen" Group Booking Discount
For each purchase of standard tickers for "The Sixteen":
10% off for each purchase of 4-9 tickets;
15% off for 10-19 tickets;
20% off for 20 or more tickets.
“Great Music” Package Discount
For each purchase of standard tickets for "The Sixteen", "Violin Recital by Kyung Wha Chung", "Piano Recital by Daniil Trifonov", "Piano Recital by Rafał Blechacz" and "Philharmonia Quartett Berlin", the following concession applies:
5% off for any 2 programmes, 10% off for any 3 programmes, 15% off for any 4 programmes, 20% off for all 5 programmes.
Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount offers.
The performance will run for about 1 hour and 45 minutes including a 15 minute intermission. Audience is strongly advised to arrive punctually. Latecomers will only be admitted at a suitable break. Presenter reserves the right to change the programme and artists.
Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321
Ticketing Enquiries：3761 6661
Credit Card Telephone Booking：2111 5999
Sounds of the Pioneers - Discover Palestrina and Poulenc (Appreciation Talks with Live a cappella Music)
Speaker: Patrick Chiu
September 11 (Monday) ∣Palestrina: Choral Music of the 16th Century Italy
September 18 (Monday) ∣Poulenc: Choral Music of the 20th Century France
Venue: CR2, 7/F Backstage, Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$50 for each talk
The talks will be conducted in Cantonese. For details in chinese: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/tc/music/programs_330.html