BBC Radio 3 broadcast James Weeks conducting 'Orlando Tenebrae'

As part of a 'BBC Singers in Good Friday music' programme broadcast on 24th April, BBC Radio 3 featured a recording of James Weeks's Orlando Tenebrae from a concert by the choir conducted by the composer himself.

The work can be heard online for a limited time here:

Composed in 2010 for choir and narrator, Orlando Tenebrae sets Tenebrae Responsory texts in a secular context of modern poetry to explore themes of oppression, suffering and hope.

Weeks writes:

There is a great upsurge of human-inflicted suffering in the world today: our capacity for inhumanity towards each other (to say nothing of other living creatures) seems to be boundless. I turned to the texts of the Tenebrae as a way to deal with this ever-more pressing subject in a timeless way, trying to avoid contemporary agitprop but at the same time removing them from an explicitly Christian context. I found several Tenebrae texts that speak of oppression in a general sense, and to them added four poems from Fire in the Soul, a collection of poems from around the world on the subject of human rights, published by New Internationalist.

The BBC Singers concert was recorded on Friday 12th April 2019 in St Paul's Church Knightsbridge, London. Their performance of Orlando Tenebrae can be heard alongside other works from the concert, by Tomás Luis de Victoria and Heinrich Schütz, on the BBC Radio 3 website for 30 days after the broadcast date.

(25 Apr 2019)

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