Choir of Royal Holloway launches new CD

Posted on 14/01/2013

The Choir of Royal Holloway| together with the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, will perform a programme of music by three neglected English composers, John Bull, Richard Dering and Peter Philips, at concert on Friday 1 February.

Taking place in St John’s, Smith Square in London, the concert will draw on historical anecdotes from the Elizabethan period. Often involving religious persecution, accusations of treason and even adultery, choral and instrumental music will illustrate the stories of these three musicians who fled England to settle in the South Netherlands.

2013 also marks 400 years since the first publication of Peter Philips’s Cantiones Sacrae Octonis Vocibus (1613), a collection of 30 motets - pieces of music often used for church service and sung by a choir without instrumental accompaniment. The Choir of Royal Holloway, the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble have recorded half of this volume for a new CD released by Hyperion Records, which is officially launched at the concert.

The recording uses new editions prepared by Professor Lionel Pike (former Director of Chapel Music at Royal Holloway) with many of the motets being recorded for the first time and with the added dimension of cornets and sackbuts.

“Our previous CD recordings have all been of contemporary music, so we are particularly thrilled to be releasing our first disc of entirely early music,” said Royal Holloway Choir Director Rupert Gough.

“The project has particular resonance for Royal Holloway, as the music of Peter Philips is the specialty of my predecessor, Professor Lionel Pike, who has prepared brand new editions for this recording. Working with such fine specialist musicians as the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble has also been an important inspiration for the project, and a key element in trying to recreate authentic sounds from the seventeenth century.”

The concert will take place on Friday 1 February 2013, 7.30pm at St John’s Smith Square, SW1P 3HA

To purchase tickets (priced at £16/£13/£10) and for more information about the concert, please call St John’s Smith Square on 020 7222 1061 or visit

For more information about the Choir of Royal Holloway and to purchase a copy of the CD, visit

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