Tenebrae on BBC4

Broadcast last Saturday but available for a while yet on iPlayer, Sacred Songs: the Secrets of our Hearts. I initially assumed it was recorded a while ago, but somehow they’ve managed to put together home-filmed parts to make a full choir, Covid-19 style. I tried this with my choir last week and it was mind-bendingly difficult to do well, so I have extra respect for them.

I think the Beeb might have slightly fluffed the scheduling though - most of the pieces chosen are distinctly Lenten, so the evening of Easter Sunday was an odd choice of timing.

If you’re a renaissance choral geek like me, you may be interested to note that they sing the plainsong segments of the Allegri to the tonus peregrinus rather than the usual tone 2 that George Guest notated in the usually-used edition. Makes it a much more satisfying experience, IMO.

Anyway, enjoy…


I enjoyed this programme and, particularly in the circumstances, found it very moving as well as wonderfully performed. Tenebrae are such a fine choir. Although I take your point that the music might have been liturgically mistimed, from a scheduling point of view, I can understand why it was broadcast in the early evening of Easter Sunday. In these dreadful times, I suspect people are looking for solace at Easter and this short concert certainly provided it. Three cheers for the Beeb!

BTW I did post about it but rather foolishly put my post in the “what have you been listening to” thread.


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