The Song of Simeon
Counter-Reformation Motets: Peter Philips 1561-1628
Tuesday 10 August 1999, 8 pm
31 Avon St
Directed by Peter Walls
Along with William Byrd, Peter Philips is one of the great geniuses of the late Tudor age. His music has a polish and sophistication equal to the greatest of the European polyphonists. This programme allowed the choir to present to the public the repertoire that was later recorded for NAXOS. All the motets performed were edited by Professor John Steele of Otago University, Dunedin.
As a recusant English Catholic living in voluntary exile in the Netherlands, Philips treated vividly and with great feeling the subjects that typify the Counter-Reformation. What is revealed in these motets is a vast dramatic range as Philips uses a variety of techniques to bring out the underlying mood in the words he sets. The end result is rich and varied.
This is extraordinarily beautiful music. It is also music that responds wonderfully to the resonant acoustics of the beautiful chapel at Erskine College.