The 24

With a reputation forged under Professor William Brooks, The 24 is now conducted by Robert Hollingworth, founder/director of I Fagiolini, one of the UK’s top professional vocal groups.

This year three a capella programmes bring together 16th/17th century repertoire with more recent music and commissions.


2014/15 season

28 November 2014 – Beyond the normal order of things

So begins Josquin’s famous motet comemorating the Virgin Birth, part of a programme celebrating a Renaissance ‘Four Seasons’ covering St Cecilia, St Andrew, Advent and Christmas.  Byrd is in exuberant mood in ‘Lift up ye gates’ alongside the rich vocal satin of Spanish Renaissance music. After a sorbet of a medieval  monody, arctic music from Bo Holten and Poulenc’s winter cantata before a lush original setting by Adrian Williams’ of familiar seasonal words.

  • Philippe Rogier – Cantantibus organis
  • Cristobal Morales – Andreas, Christi famulus
  • William Byrd – Attollite portas
  • Josquin - Praeter rerum seriem
  • Francisco Guerrero – Pastores loquebantur
  • Hildegard of Bingen – O virga ac diadema
  • Bo Holten - First Snow / Hermit Peak
  • Francis Poulenc – Un soir de neige
  • Adrian Williams – Silent Night

25 February 2015 – A time of penitence

Music on sombre themes but delivering rich music.  Byrd’s nine-voice polyphonic psalm motet is set beside double-choir music from Phinot and Brahms while White and Gombert’s highly expressive textures create a dark world of their own.  York MA student Ben Rowarth references words from a Tallis Lenten motet, Rore quotes Savonarola’s post-torture outpouring on psalm 51 while Poulenc’s apparently Lenten subject matter reflects the mood in Europe on the eve of World War II.

  • Nicolas Gombert – Media vita
  • Robert White - Deus misereatur nostri
  • Ben Rowarth – Unto dust
  • William Byrd – Domine quis habitabit
  • Dominique Phinot – Lamentations
  • Johannes Brahms – Fest- und Gedenksprüche Op.109
  • Cipriano da Rore – Infelix ego
  • Francis Poulenc – Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence

29 May 2015 – The isle is full of noises 
(Let’s get metaphysical)

Donne, Fletcher, Spenser, Jonson, Marvell, Shakespeare and Raleigh: poets whose playful conceits in their metaphysical poetry inspired composers of a later age.  Adrian Williams’ passionate cycle (written for I Fagiolini) includes John Donne’s ‘A Valediction of weeping’ and ‘The Flea’.  Richard Rodney Bennett’s beautiful set includes sea monsters and words from The Tempest.  King and Whitacre have re-set madrigal texts while Vaughan-Williams’ powerful setting intersperses a psalm text with words by Isaac Watts.

  • John Milton – O woe is me
  • Kenneth Leighton – Drop, drop, slow tears
  • Elizabeth Lutyens - Verses of Love
  • Richard Rodney Bennett – Sea Change
  • Adrian Williams – Longing Songs
  • Eric Whitacre – Her sacred spirit soars
  • Orlando Gibbons – What is our life
  • Ian King – What is our life
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams – Lord thou hast been our refuge

China and Hong Kong 2014

The 24 recently completed their fourth tour of China – find out all about it here.