a course for choral singers led by Patrick Craig, 26 June to 2 July 2016

A course for experienced choral singers of all ages and nationalities in a mediaeval abbey on a mountain top overlooking the Adriatic, now converted into a comfortable hotel with an excellent swimming pool and a reputation for the gastronomic specialities of the Marche. We rehearse a programme of early music in the Romanesque church that still stands at its centre. The course will be held in English. The general aim is to create an intense musical experience in good company and a relaxed and convivial setting.

Palestrina and Arvo Pärt

Patrick Craig writes: “It has been said that Palestrina never wrote a wrong note. We will celebrate Italy’s greatest composer by a thorough investigation of both his life in Rome and several of his most joyful motets. Arvo Pärt is also a composer who imbues every note he writes with meaning. As a result of a thorough immersion in his choral works with the Tallis Scholars, I have concluded that he is the contemporary composer whose music stands most comfortably alongside Renaissance repertoire. Together Pärt and Palestrina will provide a thrilling programme in this most perfect setting.”

The repertoire will include:
Palestrina ~ Exsultate Deo, Dum complerentur, Cantabo Domino
Pärt ~ Magnificat, The woman with the alabaster box, Tribute to Caesar.

Patrick Craig has conducted Lacock courses at Monteconero, Jimena de la Frontera, Venice and most recently the 2015 Trogir Music Week, and has built a reputation for his imaginative and rigorously prepared programmes. He read history at Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar at Selwyn College. As an alto singer he is well known through his long-standing membership of The Tallis Scholars, The Cardinall’s Musick and the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Two comments received after Patrick’s week in Trogir in 2015: “First of all, congratulations on a first rate Trogir week. Everything went splendidly effortlessly very well organised, great ambience, stunning place in its combination of ancient wonders and delightful beaches, ravishing music and Patrick Craig! Perfection . . . I enjoyed myself just so much.” “I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Patrick Craig week. Loved the music, and thought Patrick was great, very life-enhancing, a wonderful musician and teacher too nice as well!

This is a course for experienced and confident choral singers of all ages. You should be a good reader and be comfortable singing a line by yourself, have a blending voice with full dynamic range, be used to normal choral discipline and be able to respond quickly to direction – the aim being to combine professional pace of work with amateur enthusiasm. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal. All the Palestrina music will be printed in a booklet and sent to you in good time before the course; you are asked to provide your own copies of the Arvo Pärt pieces - we will give you the full details when we confirm the repertoire.

Patrizia and Augusto Melappioni, the third generation of owner-managers of the Hotel Monteconero, with receptionist Sabrina Marini (centre) in the courtyard of the hotel with the church in the background.

Further details of the programme, travel, accommodation, fees and enrolment.