Passiontide: Holy Week In The Courts Of Europe


Featuring Apollo Baroque Consort, Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard and Joe Waggott.


About this release

Rediscover Passiontide through exquisite vocal motets from master composers of the Baroque era. Bringing together three beautiful Passiontide works for tenor soloist and small ensemble, this recording revisits some of the most outstanding, but little performed repertoire of the Baroque in powerful performances from talented musicians of Birmingham Conservatoire.

Commissioned Programme Note

Miserere à Voix Seule – Michel Richard de Lalande

Michel Richard de Lalande (born 15th December, 1657) composed much of the repertoire that crowns the French Baroque era. He was a singer, violinist, organist and harpsichordist though, after being refused a place in Lully’s orchestra, he vowed never to play the violin again. Lalande was the favourite of King Louis XIV; initially appointed as one of the four composers responsible for court music, but as each one retired he was allowed to take over each of their duties until, in 1709, he became the sole composer at the court. The King instructed his court copyists to copy out all his Grand Motets for use in the chapel at Versailles and Lalande is particularly known for these works, of which (among others) ‘De Profundis’ is particularly well known and admired. As proof of their quality they continued to be performed after his death in 1726. This was in no small part down to the very expensive production of a new edition (unheard of for a composer no longer living) in 1729. Despite the success of these motets, his Petits Motets still remain, largely, unknown. The piece recorded on this CD, Miserere à Voix Seule, is possibly the finest example of such a composition. Lalande married singer Anne Rebel in 1684 and their two daughters were both supported, at court, by Louis. Both died of smallpox in 1711 and the King held a memorial service the following year in their honour. After Louis XIV died in 1715, Lalande began to transfer his court duties to his students, eventually requesting that his salary be decreased and that the chapel return to the four composer arrangement of previous years. In 1722, Lalande’s wife died though he remarried in 1723 and had another daughter. Three years later, in 1726, he succumbed to pneumonia and died, leaving some of the finest choral and orchestral music ever written. Read more

About the artists

Apollo Baroque Consort

Convivium Records Artist

The ensemble’s name comes from Apollo, the God of music in Greek mythology. It is also a reference to the Sun King, Louis XIV of France who played Apollo in Lully’s ballet Le Ballet de la Nuit. As a great patron of music it was this performance which earned him the title ‘Le Roi Soleil’. An early obsession with music from the French Baroque shaped our initial performances and projects. Since then as we’ve grown in ability and knowledge the repertoire of the ensemble has become broader, encompassing a wide range of music from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Our projects have included performances of major works such as Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Requiem, as well as more niche projects: in 2015 the ensemble began a project exploring the relationship between Marc-Antoine Charpentier and the now-forgotten Italian master, Giovanni Battista Mazzaferrata. Our 2012 CD Passiontide: Holy Week in the Courts of Europe was released to critical acclaim.

Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard

Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard,originally from Norwich, graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire having studied singing with Julian Pike and Andrew King. As a choral and ensemble singer Chris has worked with some of the UK’s leading ensembles and conductors.

Recently he has appeared with Ex Cathedra, Genesis Sixteen, Armonico Consort, the Convivium Singers, the Chapter 5 Vocal ensemble and Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir. Chris has worked with renowned conductors including Paul Spicer (Birmingham Bach Choir, Finzi Singers), Jeffery Skidmore (Ex Cathedra), Malcolm Archer (Wells and St Paul’s Cathedrals), Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan (The Sixteen). Increasingly in demand as a soloist Chris’ recent solo engagements have included works by Britten, Dvorak, Monteverdi, Mozart and Walton.

Chris, now living in London, is a ‘full time’ freelance singer, which sounds very glamorous but he would, however, point out that the financial benefits are similar to unemployment and you’re always out when the good TV is on!

Joe Waggott

Harpsichordist and organist Joe Waggott trained on the Historical Performance master’s degree course at the Royal Academy of Music studying harpsichord and continuo.

Prior to this he studied organ at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He has worked extensively as both a continuo player and a répétiteur: recently with English Touring Opera as Head of Music Staff for the autumn 2018 season (Handel Radamisto, Purcell/Carissimi/Gesualdo Dido &Aeneas/Jonas/I will not speak, Bach St Matthew Passion), Barber Opera (Porpora L’Agrippina), ETO (Handel Giulio Cesare) and the London Handel Orchestra, where he was assistant conductor to Laurence Cummings (HandelFaramondo), along with other period instrument ensembles around the UK. Read more

CD Booklet
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part I - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part II - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part III - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part IV - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part V - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part VI - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part VII - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part VIII - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Miserere à Voix Seule, part IX - Michel-Richard De Lalande
  • Pianto Della Madonna - Giovanni De Sances
  • Lamentatio I (for Good Friday) - Jan Dismas Zelenka
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Catalogue number: CR015

Tenor Chris Fitzgerald-Lombard
Ensemble Apollo Baroque Consort
Violin Dominika Fehér, Dominic Waggott
Viola Rosie Rushton
Bass Violin / Cello Hetti Price
Theorbo Richard MacKenzie
Choir Nick Bridgman, Will Drakett, Richard Parker
Organ / Conductor Joe Waggott

Photography Tom Kuglin
Engineering Adaq Khan, Adrian Green
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Adrian Green, Andrew Fletcher
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 17, 18 February, 2012
Venue St Alban the Martyr, Highgate, Birmingham
Total Duration 49 mins

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