choral music

The early death of Lili Boulanger is the most grievous of all among composers

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Total immersion weekends can prove tricky. The established masters don’t need them, while lesser-known figures often turn out to be…

King's College Choir rehearsing for the Christmas Eve 'A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols'. Photo credit: Geoff Robinson Photography / REX / Shutterstock

All hail Mrs C.F. Alexander, author of 'Once in Royal David's City'

15 December 2018 9:00 am

In this 200th anniversary of the birth of Mrs C.F. Alexander, author of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, all of…

One of the last remaining all-boys' choirs in Britain, St George's Chapel Choir, which sang in the recent royal wedding in Windsor

I dread the extinction of boys’ choirs

2 June 2018 9:00 am

One by one, cathedrals have succumbed to the inevitable. In blazes of publicity, with front-page photographs of girls in cassocks…

The BBC Proms broadcast a piece of gloriously subversive new music – without realising it

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem, performed at the Proms on Sunday, isn’t about Brexit. The composer had to make this…

Power, purity and pinpoint accuracy in this new recording of Beethoven’s greatest work 

29 July 2017 9:00 am

When you first encounter it, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis can sound like the Ninth Symphony with more singing but no tunes.…

Gilbert & Sullivan’s characters never exist below the waist: ETO’s Patience reviewed

13 May 2017 9:00 am

English Touring Opera is playing safe this spring, with Tosca and Patience, and was rewarded, in Cambridge at least, with…

Luther’s music had an even greater impact than his words

29 April 2017 9:00 am

It’s 500 years since Martin Luther pinned his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, sparking…

Soldiers on the Western Front celebrating Christmas Day in a shell hole partly occupied by the grave of a comrade

The muddy, bloody origins of a treasured Christmas Eve ritual

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Alexandra Coghlan reveals the muddy, bloody origins of a treasured Christmas Eve ritual

Why are so many composers drawn to the Stabat Mater?

1 October 2016 9:00 am

Music likes to tell the same story over and over again. This is part of its tradition but even individual…

I want to put on a concert in Antarctica. Who will help me?

7 November 2015 9:00 am

In this exciting new era of Spectator cruises I have been put in mind of a dream event long in…

When Peter Phillips met E.L. James

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Tours that start in Mexico have a nasty habit of repeating on one. Of all the British groups touring in…

There’s nothing wrong with getting into Thomas Tallis on the back of Fifty Shades of Grey

28 February 2015 9:00 am

Great works of art may have a strange afterlife. Deracinated from the world that created them they are at the…

Why Church music is back in vogue - and squeaky-gate music has had its day

6 December 2014 9:00 am

One of the growth areas of contemporary music is in setting sacred texts. It might be thought that I had…

Peter Phillips is mugged by a gang of Praetorius-loving six-year-old girls in China

1 November 2014 9:00 am

We have read about the remarkable opening up of China in recent years: how many people live there and how…