Music of Victoria and Howells
David Hill, guest conductor
Christ Church Episcopal
84 Broadway (at Elm)
Free; no tickets required
British conductor David Hill will lead the Yale Schola Cantorum in an a cappella program of music of Victoria and Howells on Saturday, January 21 at 8 PM at Christ Church Episcopal (84 Broadway at Elm). The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
On the program are two Requiems, and Herbert Howells’s “Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing.” England’s Herbert Howells (1892-1983) composed this motet in the spring of 1964, and dedicated it “to the honoured memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States of America.” The work was premiered later that year in Washington, D.C. Having lost his own young son to a debilitating neurological disease a few years earlier, Howells was aware of the pained state of the audience who would first hear this music, so his setting begins with a sense of quiet reverence. Quickly the harmonies become thicker, the mood more agitated, leading to an expansive climax at the words, “Take, O take him, mighty Leader, Take again thy servant’s soul.” From here the music broadens and dies back until the final repetition of the opening text: “Take him, Earth, for cherishing.”
Renowned for his fine musicianship, David Hill is widely respected as both a choral and orchestral conductor. His talent has been recognised by his appointments as Chief Conductor of The BBC Singers, Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of Southern Sinfonia, Music Director of
Leeds Philharmonic Society and Associate Guest conductor of The
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Southampton in 2002 in
recognition of his Services to Music.
He is in great demand for choral training workshops worldwide and his handbook on the subject Giving Voice was published in 1995. He is a choral advisor to music publishers Novello, for whom he has edited a number of publications. David Hill’s broad-ranging discography of over 70 recordings, including many award-winners, can be found on the for Decca/Argo, Hyperion, Naxos and Virgin Classics labels. The discs span repertoire from the renaissance to the present day. His commitment to new music has led to his conducting first performances of works by Judith Bingham, Carl Rütti, Francis Pott, Patrick Gowers, Jonathan Harvey, Philip Moore and Naji Hakim, Sir John Tavener, and Philip Wilby, among others.