MUSIC AT GARGONZA
a course for choral singers led by Patrick Craig
15 to 21 April 2018

A course for experienced choral singers of all ages and nationalities in a fortified mediaeval Tuscan village, now converted into a comfortable hotel with an excellent swimming pool and a reputation for the gastronomic specialities of the region. We rehearse a programme of choral music in a comfortable rehearsal space created in the former frantoio or olive press. 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.

The Great O’s
Robert Ramsey ~ O Sapientia
Cecilia McDowall ~ O Oriens
James MacMillan ~ O radiant dawn
Pierre de Manchicourt ~ O Virgo virginem
Morten Lauridsen ~ O nata lux
Adrian Willaert ~ O magnum mysterium
William Turner ~ Magnificat

Patrick Craig writes: “The Advent O Antiphons are a series of plainsong-set texts to bookend the Magnificat on the days leading up to Christmas Day. They have proved rich stimulus to choral composers throughout the ages and in our own day have resulted in inspired compositions by James MacMillan and Cecilia McDowall. We will explore the original plainsong settings alongside major works by Ramsey and Manchicourt. We will also extend the O list to include two suitable new texts O nata lux and O magnum mysterium opening up settings by Victoria and Morten Lauridsen. The Magnificat at the programme’s heart is a splendid Restoration six-part setting for my own choir, St Paul’s Cathedral in London”.

Patrick Craig has conducted Lacock courses at Monteconero, Jimena de la Frontera, Venice and Trogir, 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!

The Castello of Gargonza is a quintessential piece of historic Tuscany a walled mediaeval hilltop village of stone houses, an olive mill, four bread ovens (still functioning), a fortified tower and a church, surrounded by its estate of thirty-three farms and woods. For centuries it lived on the biblical staples of corn, wine and oil, and also wool and timber. After the second world war it had become deserted and ruinous and in 1970 the current owner’s father, Roberto Guicciardini Corsi Salviati set about the heroic task of restoring the entire village into a modern comfortable hotel, with the laudable policy of minimal intervention. The work continues in the hands of his son Neri and his wife Elisa.

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