We’re really excited to be welcoming festival favourites The Sixteen back to Spitalfields this December, but before they get here, we thought we’d give put together a taster playlist with some of the pieces they’ll be singing. In their programme of old and new music they explore how composers have set the words of the ancient chant O magnum mysterium (which means ‘O great mystery’), which is traditionally sung on the night before Christmas Day.
Their programme includes music by Byrd, Lauridsen, Palestrina and Victoria exploring how each composer has set the chant to music. It includes movements from Palestrina’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium a mass setting based on the plainsong melody and his six-part motet which represents the joy and amazement the shepherds felt as they celebrated Christ’s birth. Their programme also include the iconic setting by American composer Morten Lauridsen.