Contrapunctus: A Brief History of Mass
Contrapunctus: A Brief History of Mass explores how the English choral mass might sound if the tradition had been derived primarily from the voice-leading and harmonic languages of the Tudor polyphonic composers. Presenting Alastair Borthwick’s Missa Brevis (Chichester Press 2022) alongside works by Tallis, Taverner and Byrd, Contrapunctus was first performed at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music in May 2022. This was the World Premiere performance of the Borthwick mass. The immersive performance concept weaves readings from Old and Middle English amongst the motets, offering an insight into the pluralistic pagan influences on early Christianity in England.
The Swan Consort are delighted to perform Contrapunctus at Canterbury Festival on 21st October 2022, in a free concert open to the public. The performance will feature collaboration with students from across the School of Creative Arts and Industries at Canterbury Christ Church University, of which Professor Borthwick is the head.
They will also deliver a Masterclass in Early Vocal Consort performance to music students and choral scholars from Canterbury Christ Church University and Canterbury Cathedral under the leadership of artistic director Anita Datta.
St Gregory’s Centre for Music, Canterbury
Friday, 21st October
Performance Sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University