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March 20, 2022

North Wales Early Music Festival
Pilgrimage

Welcome to the first North Wales Early Music Festival. This year, we start online with four concerts and three workshops given by performers from three of the groups.
  • DAYS
  • HRS
  • MIN
  • SEC
  • EVENT DATE
    MARCH 20, 2022

    Early Music Festival

  • CONCERTS
    4 Online Concerts

    Immediate access to programme

  • WORKSHOPS
    3 Online Workshops

    Immediate access to material

North Wales Early Music Festival

Deborah Catterall

Festival Director

Welcome to the first North Wales Early Music Festival. This year, we start online with four concerts and three workshops given by performers from three of the groups. The festival was recorded at St Saeran's church, Llanynys, North Wales, over a period of nine months. St Saeran's is on the North Wales pilgrim route and contains a St Christopher fresco dated to around 1420. The church itself has origins in the 6th century and has, through the pandemic, proved to be a source of inspiration to our performers and to their concert programmes, all based upon different types of pilgrimage. The mysticism and depth of both history and spirituality in this area bodes well for future, in-person events, with many ancient churches and venues, in and around the area of Ruthin, a glittering gem of history, nestling in the outstandingly beautiful Vale of Clwyd.

Over the course of the nine months, we have seen the world change and become many different things to many people. Our pilgrimage here explores a 'Journey to the Heart', through French lute song repertoire, candlelit and dark, sung by Deborah Catterall and played by Hugh Cherry, 'The Pilgrim's Delight', with Polyphonica Recorder Trio, performing music from the 14th century through to the early 16th century; pieces that would have be a source of inspiration to a pilgrim on their journey. The York Waits give us, 'As I Went To Walsingham. A Tudor Musical Pilgrimage' and for our first amateur platform, we present Voci Chamber Choir with, 'Journey to the Fair Gate of Heaven'; some of the finest renaissance choral polyphony, including works by Palestrina, Clemens non Papa and Thomas Tallis, a pilgrimage to the core of spirituality as well as to the meaning of Mary as the 'fair gate of heaven'.

The concerts will be broadcast throughout the day on YouTube and be followed immediately by an hour's workshop on Zoom, based on the theme of the concert. Each performance is approximately thirty to forty minutes. You can watch concerts later at any time that suits you after purchase.

Pilgrimage and the Church of St Saeran - edited from writings by Rev. L Parry Jones, Vicar of St Saeran's Church from 1965 to 1971

The festival is based at the ancient church of St Saeran, Lllanynys, Ruthin, North Wales. The church was a very much more important than it is now, being known as LLanfor - the Great Church. The approximate time of building was sometime in the 6th century. It is thought to be in the exact centre of the Vale of Clwyd and is a central destination for pilgrims who venture out upon the North Wales Pilgrim route.

St Saeran is the dedication of the church. He is possibly the son of Geraint Saer, whose festival was held on 13th January. Saer is Welsh fro Wright and as Welsh speakers will know, 'an' means 'little', and so, 'little Saer'. St. Saeran was looked upon as the mother church in the Vale of Clwyd. It is highly likely that St Saeran himself was no more than a head of the settlement and probably without the ability to work miracles!

The church is famous for the c1420 medieval wall painting of St Christopher, discovered by Rev. L Parry Jones under several layers of white and colour wash, on 22nd March 1967. The painting is something of a national treasure, executed by an artist of the highest quality, with the halo around Christ's head originally covered in gold leaf, a rare decoration, also found in Winchester Cathedral. The first view of this painting comes immediately on entering the church and is a welcome for all travellers and pilgrims.

With deepest thanks for audio and video recording to our production consultancy: Voice Management Services voicems.com

Fresco

Online Concerts

  1. View Timetable

    The York Waits Concert

    As I Went to Walsingham: A Tudor Musical Pilgrimage

    ONLINE CONCERT

    In the late 11th century an English noblewoman experienced a vision in which she was transported to Christ’s home in Nazareth and commanded by the Virgin Mary to build a replica at a shrine in Walsingham, Norfolk. This she did and the Priory of Our Lady of Walsingham became one of Europe’s great...
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  2. View Timetable

    Polyphonica Recorder Trio

    The Pilgrim's Delight

    ONLINE CONCERT

    Music from the 14th century through to the early 16th century from pieces that would have been a source of inspiration to a pilgrim on their journey, to the secular at the time of the dissolution on the monasteries and decline of pilgrimages...
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  3. View Timetable

    Amateur Platform: Voci Chamber Choir

    Journey to the Fair Gate of Heaven

    Amateur Platform Concerts: £5.00

    ONLINE CONCERT

    Various masterpieces of the Renaissance, including the three part Ego flos campi by Jacobus Clemens non Papa (c1510 -1515 - 1555/6), a tender realisation of femininity and sensuality...
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  4. View Timetable

    Deborah Catterall : mezzo soprano and Hugh Cherry: lute

    Pilgrimage to the Heart

    ONLINE CONCERT

    The repertoire in this concert forms a deep journey into the heart of early French song and lute music. From Josquin des Prez (1450 - 1521) to Thomas Crecquillion (c1505-1515 -1557?). The concert is by candlelight...
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Online Workshops

  1. View Timetable

    The York Waits Workshop

    "As I went to Walsingham" with Lizzie Gutteridge The York Waits - Consort of 1

    ONLINE WORKSHOP

    A play (and sing) along workshop at A=440, featuring repertoire from The York Waits' online concert....
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  2. View Timetable

    Polyphonica Recorder Trio Workshop

    Playing Vocal Music on Recorders

    ONLINE WORKSHOP

    Recorder players were expected to 'play as if singing'. Explore divergent interpretations and technical aspects of playing vocal music on recorders looking at Janequin's L'allouette....
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  3. View Timetable

    Deborah Catterall Workshop

    Super flumina Babylonis - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525- 1594

    ONLINE WORKSHOP

    A workshop for singers of moderate to advanced ability...
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North Wales Early Music Festival 2023, in person and with recorded concerts. Join our mailing list.