The Sixteen: The Choral Pilgrimage 2015

Fri 04/09/15 7:30 pm

 In 2015 The Sixteen takes a trip back to 16th-century Spain and more specifically to one of the biggest, richest and most cosmopolitan cities on earth - Seville. It was during this Spanish ‘golden age’ when arts and culture flourished, that Francisco Guerrero and Alonso Lobo made their mark. 

Between them these two composers capture an astonishing variety of moods within their music, from ecstasy and joy to despair, longing and devotional stillness. 

‘There are surely few composers who can boast a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; Guerrero made his in 1558 and published a book about his incredible journey. He was reputed to have been a person of gentleness and charm and in possession of a beautiful high tenor voice, and it is that singing quality that comes across in his works - every line is a joy to sing. The acclaimed music scholar Robert Stevenson wrote that the moods he captured included ecstasy, gaiety, melancholy, longing, submission and repose, many of which are captured in ‘Agnus Dei I and II’ from his Missa Congratulamini mihi.

Lobo was a choirboy at Seville Cathedral where Guerrero was maestro de capella. His eight-part setting of Ave Maria is a technical tour de force, but one which in no way impedes its rich sonority and sheer beauty. However there is a single work, that in my opinion makes Lobo deserving of a lasting reputation, and that is Versa est in luctum. Written for the obsequies of Philip II in 1598, it is not only contemplative but also daring, with one of the most heartfelt dissonances I know in Renaissance music.

Both Guerrero and Lobo’s works were performed for nearly two centuries after their deaths, in cathedrals throughout Spain, Portugal and the New World. Let us ensure today that they can achieve the same renown.’ Harry Christophers

The Sixteen
Harry Christophers conductor

Concert programme
Guerrero Duo Seraphim
A. Lobo Kyrie from Missa Maria Magdalene
A. Lobo Libera me
Guerrero Gloria from Missa Surge propera
Guerrero Laudate Dominum
Guerrero Maria Magdalene


Guerrero Credo from Missa de la batalla escoutez
Guerrero Vexilla Regis
A. Lobo Ave Regina coelorum
A. Lobo Ave Maria
A. Lobo Versa est in luctum
Guerrero Agnus Dei I and II from Missa Congratulamini mihi