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The University of Southampton
MusicPart of Humanities

Early music fascinates Southampton audiences

Published: 27 September 2013
Conductus album

A University of Southampton research project into 13th century music and poetry has given curious people in the city a rare opportunity to experience the unique sound of early choral music for themselves.

The concert at St Michael’s Church in Bugle Street, Southampton’s oldest building, was held during a three day conference which attracted 60 scholars from around the world who presented 35 academic papers.

Tenors John Potter, Christopher O’Gorman and Rogers Covey-Crump sang thirteen Latin works in complex two and three voice polyphony on the evening; some of the conducti had religious themes, others bemoaned female wiles and church corruption. They are included on the second of three commercial CDs to be released by Hyperion in autumn 2013.

“We believe this music was performed around Europe to clerics and other educated people during the middle ages,” explains Professor Mark Everist, “Our research has built upon existing work in this area and we have used original manuscripts to help modern singers tackle the works.”

The project Cantum pulcriorem invenire: Thirteenth-Century Music and Poetry, led by Professor Everist received funding of £600,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Four postgraduate research students, a postdoctoral researcher, technical team as well as the three artists have been engaged for the project which will produce a book, three CD recordings and an online catalogue. The conference was the second in a series, the first of which was held in Princeton in 2011.

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