Strictly Singing Group
Sunday February 5, 2023 @ 15h00
Nusic of William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes. Rory McCleery, direction
British conductor and countertenor Rory McCleery leads the Strictly Singing chorus in a program of English Renaissance songs. McCleery began his musical career as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. He gained a double first in music at Oxford University as both Organ and Domus Academic scholar of St Peter’s College, subsequently completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction. Rory is the founder of The Marian Consort, with whom he performs across the UK and Europe. Under his direction, The Marian Consort has become renowned for its compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, particularly the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque. As a countertenor, Rory greatly enjoys performing as a soloist and consort singer in concert, and recording with ensembles including The Dunedin Consort, Contrapunctus, The Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, Le Concert d'Astrée, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Cardinall’s Musick. ‘McCleery elicits performances that glow with golden purity and soul' (The Scotsman) ‘McCleery, a countertenor and academic as well as conductor, introduced the items with a lucidity combining boyish geniality with quite startling erudition.’ (The Sunday Times) Today’s program celebrates the 400th anniversary of the deaths of English Renaissance composers William Byrd and Thomas Weelkes, and includes Byrd's Agnus Dei from his Mass for Four Voices, Justorum animae and Beati mundo corde from Propers for All Saints and Ave Verum Corpus from Propers for Corpus Christi, and Weelkes’ Death Hath Deprived Me, The Nightingale and Hosanna to the Son of David.