Past concerts – pre 2009

Rekindle fond memories … or see what you missed!

Posters and Programmes Concert Description
Publicity poster for concert 13 December 2008 Choral Music for Advent
13 December 2008

Church of St Willibrord with All Saints, Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
image tbd Vivaldi rediscovered
8 March 2008

King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross

Review from The Free Library
The Saxon State Library in Dresden has proved a fruitful source of misplaced Vivaldi compositions over the past 20 years.
The latest find came in 2005 when an Australian musicologist noticed anomalies in a manuscript of a Dixit Dominus setting (Psalm 109) that raised serious questions over its attribution to Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi.
The story goes that some time in the 1750s or 60s the Catholic court at Dresden acquired some new sacred music from Venice’s best-known copyists, run by Iseppo Baldan.
Vivaldi had been dead since 1741, Galuppi was the big name in Venetian music and so, not for the only time, Galuppi’s name appeared on someone else’s work.
Duly authenticated as the work of Vivaldi, the Dixit Dominus RV 807 was getting its first UK performance here by Cappella Novocastriensis and the period instrument orchestra Newcastle Baroque as part of the current Newcastle Early Music Festival.
Regarded by those who authenticated it as the finest of the composer’s sacred works, it was hard to disagree – particularly with Vivaldi scholar Eric Cross conducting.
Alternating choruses and vocal solos and duets over 11 movements, Vivaldi switched from traditional church polyphony to florid operatic aria with ease.
The choir sounded full-voiced and precise with the closing fugue coming with tremendous cumulative force.
Soprano Julia Kogan maintained superb evenness of tone while Heather Jill Burns excelled in the alto aria De torrente. The orchestra, sensitive to Vivaldi’s word painting, produced gently rippling string figurations.
Tenors Martin Hindmarsh and Austin Gunn seized their moments in solos and the duet with impressive style.
It topped an all-Vivaldi programme that had begun with the overture to the opera Griselda.
But far from being granted a gentle warm-up to the grand finale, the choir and soloists set the standards high from the off with a medley of established Vivaldi works.
Thomas Hall

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Angeli archangeli
1 December 2007

The Church of St Willibrord with All Saints, Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
Publicity poster for concert, 16 December 2006 A Venetian Christmas
Polychoral music for voices and baroque brass
16 December 2006

The Church of St Willibrord with All Saints, Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross

Preview from The Journal
Cappella Novocastriensis will bring a touch of Italy to Newcastle this Christmas with a special performance. The oval auditorium of the St Willibrord with All Saints’ Church, above Newcastle’s Quayside, will echo to the voices of the choral ensemble… presenting A Venetian Christmas, bringing to life the music of such 17th Century masters as Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Bassano and Grandi.

Publicity poster for concert, 16 June 2006 Sing unto the Lord
16 June 2006

Hexham Abbey
Conductor: Peter Coulson
Publicity poster for concert, 18 March 2006 The ways of Zion do mourn…
Handel’s funeral anthem for Queen Caroline
18 March 2006

Tenth Early Music Festival
King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross

Preview from The Journal
One of the world’s greatest countertenors will be the guest of the Cappella Novocastriensis choral ensemble.
James Bowman’s 30-year career spans opera, oratorio, contemporary music and solo recitals, leading to engagements at almost every major opera house in the world.
In 1992 the French government honoured him with admission to L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres and he was awarded the Medal of Honour by the City of Paris. In May 1996 James Bowman received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Newcastle University and the following year received the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
…He will join the ensemble in the King’s Hall to sing arias by Handel.

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] 5 March 2005
Ninth Newcastle Music Festival
King’s Hall, University of Newcastle

Preview from The Journal
The annual treat for enthusiasts of music from the Baroque period and beyond returns to Tyneside for its ninth year.
The Newcastle Early Music Festival, largely based at the King’s Hall of Newcastle University, opens with Eric Cross directing Cappella Novocastriensis, Newcastle Baroque and Trio Barokkalao in an all-French programme of works by Carissimi, Couperin, Charpentier and Lalande.
www.thejournal.co.uk/culture/music/return-to-the-baroque-era-4622247

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] … December 2004

Preview from The Journal
Seasonal sounds abound. Festive music is all around us over the next seven days, and one of the most interesting performances is a concert by Cappella Novocastriensis.
The choral ensemble will be presenting a candlelit concert of English Christmas music in All Saints’ Church above the Quayside, Newcastle, at 7.30pm.
Thomas Tallis’ Mass, Puer natus est nobis, is included and there are works by Sheppard, Dering, Poston, Joubert, Darke, Lauridsen and Britten.

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] 12 June 2004
St Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle
Conductor: Peter Coulson

Preview from The Journal
St Dominic’s Priory in Newcastle’s New Bridge Street is the venue for an enterprising concert by Cappella Novocastriensis, the 40-strong choral group which specialises in performing music intended for worship. The programme – Duo Seraphim: Angels, Saints & Sinners – comprises works of the Iberian Renaissance by such composers as Guerrero, Cardoso, Casals, de Cristo and Fernandez. The main work is the Missa O Quam Gloriosum by Victoria.

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] … March 2004
Eighth Newcastle Early Music Festival
Durham Cathedral
Conductor: Peter Coulson

Review from The Journal
The best educated guess about the genesis of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is that, tiring of life in Mantua, he poured his talent into a piece designed to promote his career elsewhere.
It seems to have worked, too, Monteverdi being appointed Master of Music of the Venetian Republic where he remained until his death in 1643. And even if the North-East can’t boast a venue with the acoustics of St Mark’s, Durham Cathedral is certainly a no less awe-inspiring setting. Part traditionalist, part modernist, the stylistic spread of Monteverdi’s sequence of psalm settings is a challenge for even the best-drilled choir. Though sometimes wanting more from the men’s voices in the higher ranges, Cappella Novocastriensis negotiated the complexities with admirable precision and transparency of tone.
The strings and organ of Newcastle Baroque were joined by the period woodwind-brass players of QuintEssential; all on top form for conductor Peter Coulson’s vivid and persuasively-shaped reading.
THOMAS HALL

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Sing Joyfully!
English choral music from Taverner to Tippett
22 June 2002

Corbridge Methodist Church
Conductor: Peter Coulson
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] 23 February 2002
Sixth Newcastle Early Music Festival
King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross

Preview from The Journal
Dr Cross will be in the King’s Hall for the climax of this year’s festival… to direct Newcastle Baroque and the choral group Cappella Novocastriensis – joined by James Bowman and tenor Joshua Ellicott – in Hail, Bright Cecilia, a programme of Restoration sacred and secular music.
James, who was brought up in Newcastle and first performed publicly as a chorister at St Nicholas’ Cathedral, turned 60 a couple of months ago so a belated early music rendition of Happy Birthday wouldn’t go amiss.

[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Jubilate Deo
A Venetian Celebration
1 December 2001

The Church of St Willibrord with All Saints, Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Musique a la Chapelle Royale
24 March 2001

King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Handel’s Saul
(Newcastle early music festival)
27 February 1999

King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Music from St Mark’s
16th and 17th century choral music from Venice
12 December 1998

All Saints Church, Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Fear Thou not for I am with Thee
A memorial concert for Francis Eddershaw
7 November 1998

All Saint’s Church, Rothbury
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] 16th century English and later European music
4 July 1998

St Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle
Conductor: Magnus Williamson
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Dixit Dominus
Eternal Source of Light
28 February 1998

King’s Hall, University of Newcastle
Conductor: Eric Cross
[Publicity poster for concert tbd] Faire is the Heaven
28 June 1997

St Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle
Conductor David Burchell
Publicity poster for concert, ?date [description tbd]