A CRISIS in cathedral music was identified by the Cathedral Music Trust in 2022, while the scientific basis of the ban on choral singing during the pandemic was called in question by an academic review in the UK of the Skagit case.
Musical performances noted in the Church Times included those of Bach’s Ascension Oratorio (Wigmore Hall); Hubert Parry’s De Profundis (St Albans Cathedral); Dvorak’s Requiem and George Dyson’s Quo Vadis (Three Choirs); Handel’s Saul and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Edinburgh Intenational Festival); Handel’s Solomon and Brahms’s German Requiem (Proms), as well as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (the latter being on the last night of this year’s Proms, owing to cancellation of the usual festivities because of national mourning); Jean Mouton (in a quincentenary concert) (Wigmore Hall); and Handel’s “Messiah”: The Live Experience (Drury Lane Theatre). The Ukraine Freedom Orchestra was also heard in Edinburgh at the International Festival.
Opera included the revivals of Paul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale (ENO); Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila (ROH); Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers (Glyndebourne and Proms). The Almeida staged Elton John’s musical Tammy Faye.
Other music by contemporary composers included Paul Carr’s Into the Light (St Edmundsbury Cathedral); Nitin Sawhney’s Ghosts in the Ruins (Coventry Cathedral) and Transitions (London International Festival of Early Music, St Michael and All Angels, Blackheath); Liz Dilnot Johnson’s When a Child is Witness -- Requiem for Refugees (Coventry Cathedral); Never to Forget by Howard Goodall (St Paul’s Cathedral); Voices of Power by Luke Styles; Two Souls by Robert Peate, Pietà by Richard Blackford (Three Choirs); “Like as the hart” (Judith Weir) and “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ” (James MacMillan) for the late Queen’s funeral; and No Resting Place by Nico Muhly (Cadogan Hall).
Albums and recordings included Rachel John’s From My Lips to God’s Ear; Claudia Balla; and Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater with Jakub Jozef Orlinski (CD, DVD, and digital).
Plays included To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted by Aaron Sorkin (Gielgud Theatre); Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem (Apollo Theatre); Stephen Beresford’s new play The Southbury Child (Chichester Festival Theatre, Bridge Theatre); I, Joan by Charlies Josephine (Shakespeare’s Globe); Grandad Anansi by Elayne Ogbeta (Z-arts/Half Moon Theatre); Dmitry by Schiller (Marylebone Theatre); and The Doctor, adapted from Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardt (Duke of York’s Theatre); the Chester City Passion, and the Passion of Jesus (Trafalgar Square).
Some notable works of art changed hands during the year, including Botticelli’s The Man of Sorrow ($45.4 million) and Madonna of the Magnificat ($48.48 million).
Opportunities for those with shallower pockets to see Old Masters and other works of art were presented by “Late Constable” and “Francis Bacon: Man and Beast” (Royal Academy); “The Tudors” (Holburne Museum, Bath); “Epstein: Stories in Stone” (Coventry Cathedral); “Forbidden Fruit” (Colnaghi, London); Dalí and El Greco (The Spanish Gallery, Bishop Auckland); “Cezane to Malevich” and Hieronymus Bosch (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest); “Duncan Grant 1920” (Charleston, East Sussex); “Becoming Anne” (Hever Castle); Benton End and the East Anglian School (Firstsite, Colchester); the National Gallery’s Dürer and Raphael exhibitions; Glyn Philpot (Pallant House, Chichester); Edvard Munch (Courtauld, London); Donatello (Florence and Berlin, coming to V&A next year); “Feminine Power” (British Museum); Canaletto (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich); and Lucian Freud (National Gallery) and “Friends and Relations” (Freud and others) (Gagosian Gallery, London).
Contemporary art was widely represented at the Venice Biennale and the RA Summer Exhibition. Other shows included pandemic art (Peterborough Cathedral); Kehinde Wiley (National Gallery); Lakwena (Vigo Gallery and Temple station, London); Viktor Ehikhamenor (St Paul’s Cathedral); Rachel Feinstein (Gagosian); Sarah Harper (Birmingham Cathedral); Victoria Crowe (Flowers, London); Mark Cazalet (Serena Morton, London); David Harper (Derby Cathedral); Jacqui Parkinson (Southwell Cathedral); Peter Barnes (The Last Supper, touring); “Letters for Creation” children’s art (Lambeth Palace); Philip Chatfield’s Our Lady of the Waters (a statue on a river journey); Richard Woods (Southwark Cathedral); Peter Walker (Liverpool Cathedral); Grayson Perry (Salisbury Cathedral); Anton Smit (Leonardslee Gardens, West Sussex); Edmund de Waal (Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury); Michael Forbes (Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham); Merlin Murray (Aga Khan Centre, in “Football and Religion”); Andrew Vessey (St Edmundsbury Cathedral); William Kentridge (RA) and various artists in “Making Waves” (Hastings Contemporary).
A new statue by Nicholas Dimbleby of Samuel Taylor Coleridge was unveild in Ottery St Mary, Devon. The was the restoration of the window “The Pricke of Conscience” in All Saints’, York; and, among new church furnishings, the new shrine of St Chad in Lichfield Cathedral.
Films (including notable re-releases) noted in the Church Times included Memoria; Voyage of Time; The Eyes of Tammy Faye; Confession; Amulet; Procession; Minyan; Cries and Whispers; Zeroes and Ones; I’ve Heard the Memaids Singing; Mass; Small Body; Benedetta; Father Stu; Elizabeth: A portrait in parts; Everything Went Fine; To Olivia; Persuasion; Death of a Ladies’ Man; Queen of Glory; Man of God; Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris; Emily; Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a journey, a song; The Devil’s Trap (1962); Morningstar; and The Wonder.