a course for choral singers led by Carlos Aransay, 14 to 19 May 2018

A week of music for experienced choral singers in a church on the Grand Canal in Venice. We rehearse one of the masterpieces of Renaissance music for a public concert. The course is conducted in English. The general aim is to study an important area of choral repertoire with a leading exponent in the field in a relaxed and convivial setting.

Tomás Luis de Victoria ~ Officium Defunctorum

The week is centred on one of the great works of late Renaissance music: The Requiem Mass for six voices by Tomás Luis de Victoria. Bruno Turner, the great champion of Iberian polyphony has written, ‘Its refined and dignified austerity is shot through with passionate conviction; it glows with extraordinary fervour within a musical and spiritual atmosphere of serenity and fitness for its liturgical has become revered as well as admired, for it seems to be somehow a Requiem for an age – the end of Spain’s golden century, the end of renaissance music, the last work, indeed, of Victoria himself.’ Other works in the programme will be chosen to suit the balance of the group and will be announced later.

The course will be led by Carlos Aransay, doyen of the many Iberian musicians now living in London: founder and director of the award-winning Coro Cervantes, leading light of the Iberian and Latin American Music Society, the inspiration behind Lacock’s pilgrimage to some of the great Spanish cathedrals and courses in Portugal, Mexico and Cuba, first port of call for advice on matters Hispanic for organisations such as Deutsche Grammophon and Covent Garden and a regular orchestral conductor the length and breadth of Latin America from the pampas to the Rio Grande.

Carlos writes: “What a treat to be in Venice the spring, immersing ourselves in music, listening to the sounds of Italian, tasting their wonderful food and wine. I am very excited to be performing once again this wonderful monument of Spanish music. I have in the past directed it at the Cathedral in Segovia, in London, sung it as a tenor in Cazalla in Andalucia and in 2018 I shall be performing it also in Mexico City. It will be very interesting to discover more about the stormy relations between Spain and Venice (where many of the streets have the Spanish name ‘calle’ and canals ‘rio’) and to accompany Victoria’s Requiem with funeral motets connected to both countries.”

The course is designed for the serious amateur musician.You should be a competent sight-reader, have a straight, 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. Participants are of all ages and nationalities and come alone, with a friend or partner, or in a group. Carlos Aransay is experienced at working with amateur musicians and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal.

The course will be held in the English Church of St George in Campo San Vio. It is on the Dorsoduro bank of the Grand Canal between two of Venice’s principal art galleries, the Accademia and the Guggenheim Collection. Spring is an ideal time to visit the city; neither too hot nor too cold, and we will avoid some of its more notorious horrors: mosquitoes, smells and inappropriately-dressed trippers.

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