Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rare Sung Requiem

Sung Requiem
St Michael & the Holy Angels, West Bromwich
Setting by Jean Richafort (1480-1547)

Wednesday, November 4th at 7:30pm
Followed by refreshments
260 High Street
West Bromwich B70 8AQ

A very rare performance of a High Renaissance masterpierce by ensemble 1685

Ensemble 1685
Formed by Richard Jeffcoat from singers he worked with at Coventry Cathedral, this enterprising group is now in its fifth year, and has notched up more than 300 performances. 1685 was the year both Bach and Handel were born, but, in addition to performances of Bach Passions and Handel's Messiah, the ensemble sings in all styles, and in every kind of performance context. A special interest lies in seeking out the correct context for performances of sacred music, and this rare performance of the Requiem Mass by a Franco-Flemish composer from the 16th century will be greatly enhanced by its context within a Latin Mass.

Jean Richafort (1480-1547)
This polyphonic setting of the Ordinary of the Requiem Mass was composed in honour of the composer's teacher, Josquin Desprez, following Josquin's death in 1521. Richafort held several posts in the Low Countries but also appears to have been attached to the French Court. The Requiem uses fragments of the older composer's work hidden in the rich texture of 6-part writing. This is a very rare performance of a High Renaissance masterpiece, and perhaps it will be performed liturgically for the first time in this country. As far as I know, this will also be the first Traditional Latin Mass in the Black Country in 40 years! Please give it your support!

With thanks to Fr Louis Hong Le (Parish Priest) and Mr Patrick Fahey for helping to organise it.

See my LMS Blog for more details of Latin Masses in the West Midlands.


  1. Your tolerant and inclusive attitude to the choir's director is most welcome

  2. NB -- Wednesday November *3rd* is the date of this event...

  3. No this was last year's Requiem. This year it will be on Friday November 5th at 7pm at St John Fisher Church, West Heath (South Birmingham).

  4. Oh, good point! Didn't spot the year at the top, and as you've pointed out I was wrong anyway... Doh!