Read, Watch & Listen

Inside the Music – Raffaella Aleotti

Rory McCleery gives you the inside story on Raffaella Aleotti, a little-known convent composer who was labelled a child prodigy, and whose music looked to redress the gender balance in sacred music. This insight video accompanies CULT, a digital production by The Marian Consort, which you can stream here.

video

Inside the Music – Jacobus Clemens non Papa

Rory McCleery gives you inside story on Jacobus Clemens non Papa, his nickname, his scandalous behaviour, and his divine music. This insight video accompanies CULT, a digital production by The Marian Consort which you can stream here.

video

CULT

We’re called The Marian Consort. Our very name is an act of veneration. That’s why we thought we should ask a few more questions of it. In CULT, we look at how Mary’s pedestal was built up, and hear the voices of those who tried to rebalance things.

demand

CULT – programme note

CULT brings together works by three composers which serve to illuminate some of the various facets of female representation in Renaissance sacred music, including the many different guises of the Blessed Virgin Mary, texts in whose honour were ubiquitous, both in prose and musical settings. As the author of more than five hundred pieces of…read more.

article
missing image

A lily among thorns

This podcast examines the cult of the Virgin Mary, and its manifestation in music. Rory is joined by Dame Marina Warner, and singers Lucy Cox and Sarah Anne Champion to talk about eroticism, tune smuggling, and convent composers. This episode accompanies CULT, a digital production from The Marian Consort. Find out more about our digital…read more.

podcast

Femina | Luca Shaw + The Marian Consort

Carlo Gesualdo is responsible for some of the most disturbingly enrapturing music ever created; the man himself represents the very worst of patriarchal society, escaping double murder without punishment. Whilst the music pleads to the Virgin Mary in heaven to act as intercessor, Luca’s response seeks to bring her within reach of us down below,…read more.

video

Inside the music: Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices

Rory McCleery takes you inside the music of William Byrd, and the Mass for Three Voices, which he wrote performance behind closed doors. This insight video accompanies Byrd Song, a digital production by The Marian Consort, which you can stream here.  

video

William Byrd – Agnus Dei from Mass for Three Voices

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us….read more.

video

Byrd Song

A sequence of music, poetry, and bird song, inspired by William Byrd, known in his own time as the country’s ‘nightingale’. Featuring guitarist Sean Shibe, actor Ryan-Walker Edwards, and The Marian Consort, with music by William Byrd, Francis Cutting, Martin Peerson, and poetry by Roger Robinson, Claude McKay, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Full programme below.

demand

Byrd Song – programme note

The course of sacred music in England during the sixteenth century was not a straightforward one, as prevailing musical styles were influenced by the innovations of individual composers, trends imported from the Continent, and most markedly the religious and political upheaval which punctuated the life of England at this time. This last, the process of…read more.

article

What’s next?

Rory introduces James Hardie, our General Manager, and discusses The Marian Consort’s brand new digital season, and the trials of making music in the wake of Covid-19. Find out more about our digital season here. Produced by James Hardie  

podcast

like strangers | Kivu Ruhorahoza + The Marian Consort

Film by Kivu Ruhorahoza Music by Jean Maillard, performed by The Marian Consort Fratres mei elongaverunt se a me, et noti mei quasi alieni, recesserunt a me. Dereliquerunt me proximi mei, et qui me noverunt quasi alieni, recesserunt a me. My brethren distance themselves from me, and my acquaintances have departed from me like strangers….read more.

video

Music of Sebastianist Portugal

The frequency with which composers of the late Renaissance set texts of lamentation, mourning and supplication, not only for the period from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday but for use throughout the year, speaks both of the quotidian nature of death in their lives and the need to contemplate suffering, mortality and the possibility of…read more.

article

Singing in Secret: the podcast

Join us as we delve a little deeper into the world of clandestine Catholic celebrations of the Elizabethan era. Rory also talks about his favourite moments on the album, what goes into making a recording, and our future plans. Singing in Secret was released on Friday 27 March 2020. CD: bit.ly/orderSiS Spotify: bit.ly/sisTMCs Apple Music: bit.ly/sisTMCa Produced by…read more.

podcast

Out of the Depths: music from Sebastianist Portugal

Whilst the people prayed for the return of a dead King, composers wrote their most heart-wrenching works lamenting loss of political power.

podcast

Man of Mystery

  It’s time to talk about Jean Maillard, Renaissance Man of Mystery. Little beyond Maillard’s sublime music exists. Was he banished from France? Was he killed in a massacre? In this episode, Rory delves deep into the theories, and is also joined by Professor John Bryan of Huddersfield University, who gives a fascinating account of…read more.

podcast
babylonis

GP da Palestrina – Super flumina Babylonis

video
Ave Maria

William Byrd – Ave Maria

video
Justorum Animae

William Byrd – Justorum Animae

video
Breaking The Rules

Breaking the Rules

video
Miserere mei

William Byrd – Miserere mei

video
Emendemus in melius

William Byrd – Emendemus in melius

Coming to you from homes across the UK! Charlotte Ashley (soprano) Rory McCleery (countertenor) Edward Ross (tenor) Michael Craddock (baritone) Edmund Saddington (bass)

video

Victoria – Ave Maria a 8

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Regina coeli, dulcis et pia, o Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, ut cum electis te videamus. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit…read more.

video

Singing in Secret: how William Byrd created his best work in isolation

Four hundred years ago, it wasn’t a pandemic that forced the English composer into hiding, but his religious faith.

article

Singing in Secret: Clandestine Catholic Music by William Byrd

The Marian Consort  – Rory McCleery In the turbulent religious climate of Elizabethan England William Byrd wrote — and, more audaciously, published — a huge amount of music for the Catholic rite, for services which he and his fellow Catholics had to celebrate clandestinely, in the private houses and chapels of sympathetic noblemen. The cloistered…read more.

product

Pater Peccavi – Music of Lamentation from Renaissance Portugal

The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery Biblical texts of lamentation were embraced by composers of the late Renaissance for their artistic and expressive potential. But in Portugal – a kingdom without a king, its people governed by a foreign power – such settings gave life, as well, to a rich expression of covert political commentary. Rory…read more.

product

In Sorrow’s Footsteps

The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery Celebrating its tenth anniversary with its tenth recording on Delphian, The Marian Consort plays to its twin strengths in a lovingly conceived programme coupling two pillars of Renaissance polyphony with twenty-first-century settings of the same texts, including a newly commissioned Stabat Mater by Gabriel Jackson. A range of subplots – Palestrina’s influence…read more.

product

Christmas with the Shepherds

The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery A Christmas programme with a difference: Rory McCleery and his acclaimed consort echo the shepherds’ noels through a motet by Jean Mouton which, astonishingly, remained in the repertoire of the Sistine Chapel for over 100 years after its composition around 1515. So famous already by the middle of the century,…read more.

product

An Emerald in a Work of Gold

Music from the Dow Partbooks The Marian Consort & Rose Consort of Viols, Rory McCleery For its second Delphian recording, The Marian Consort have leafed through the beautifully calligraphed pages of the partbooks compiled in Oxford between 1581 and 1588 by the Elizabethan scholar Robert Dow, to present a deeply satisfying sequence of some of…read more.

product

Virgo Benedicta

Music of Marian Devotion from Spain’s Century of Gold The Marian Consort: Gwendolen Martin, Emma Walshe (sopranos), Nicholas Scott (tenor), Steffan Jones (baritone), Christopher Borrett (bass) & Rory McCleery (countertenor/director) For their debut recording, the six-strong Marian Consort explores music from late 16th- and early 17th-century Spain. This fascinating programme celebrates the rich compositional fruits…read more.

product

Maillard: Missa ‘Je suis déshéritée’ & Motets

The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery Jean Maillard’s life is shrouded in mystery, and his music is rarely heard today. Yet in his own time his works were both influential and widely known: indeed, the musicologist François Lesure held him to be one of the most important French composers of his era. Who better, then, than…read more.

product

Loquebantur: Music from the Baldwin Partbooks

The Marian Consort, Rose Consort of Viols, Rory McCleery John Baldwin was a lay clerk at St George’s Chapel, Windsor in 1575 and became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1598. The so-called ‘Baldwin Partbooks’, held at Christ Church, Oxford, were his creation – a very personal collection, representing his individual tastes and interests…read more.

product

Gesualdo: Sacrae Cantiones

The Marian Consort, Rory McCleery Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, has become notorious for the eccentricities of both his life and his music. The gruesome murder of his first wife and her lover in flagrante, his mistreatment of his second wife, his isolation at his family seat and his penchant for…read more.

product

Stabat Mater

Sacred Choral Music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley The Marian Consort, Berkeley Ensemble, David Wordsworth Read Katherine’s exclusive interview with David Wordsworth about the project here. Lennox Berkeley’s Stabat Mater derives from one of the most fertile and inspired periods of his compositional life. A masterpiece, and until now the last of his major works…read more.

product

Music for the Queen of Heaven

Contemporary Marian Motets The Marian Consort originally made its name with the music of the Renaissance. But the group has also worked regularly with living composers for a number of years. This programme of contemporary Marian anthems – many of them commissioned by the ensemble – celebrates a living, developing tradition where the new is…read more.

product

Reviews

"Singing one person to a part, the Marian Consort give sublimely refined, spacious and impeccably tuned performances."

The Sunday Times

"The performances are models of discretion and musical taste, every texture clear, every phrase beautifully shaped."

The Gaurdian

"'performances are always vibrant and perfectly tuned’"

The Times

"There is an alluring, sometimes intoxicating equilibrium about this disc, regulated by the pure-toned intimacy and blend of Rory McCleery’s fine ensemble."

The Scotsman

"The singers perform with a yearning intensity which is just exquisite."

Gramophone

"Exemplary one-to-a-part performances ... the singing is as impassioned as it is effortlessly elegant."

BBC Music Magazine

"This is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical ... The unfussy performance helps the music enormously."

Gramophone

"🔥 ❤️ 😩 I need a daily IV of this!"

Instagram user

"The Marian Consort’s performances deliver full value in terms of expressive range and sophistication. Pitch-perfect tuning and immaculately clean ensemble … add further to the attractions of this eminently listenable recital."

BBC Music Magazine