Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Celebrating Bl. Dominic Barberi with a French choir

Yesterday evening to augment the celebration of the feast of Bl. Dominic Barberi the Oxford Oratory welcomed the Little Singers of Saint-Charles - Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Charles - from Versailles.

This Children's choir, founded by Fr Roger Morandi in 1983 are on their first English tour and their itinerary includes the Catholic cathedrals in Portsmouth, Arundel and Southwark, St George's Chapel Windsor and in Oxford both Christ Church Cathedral and the Oratory.

In the programme notes they state that their mission "is to sing the Lord and his wonders and to radiate faith and Christian joy. Our young singers receive both a musical and a spiritual education for without a living faith, sacred music is reduced to a purely artistic gesture and loses it's meaning."

They sang both for the Mass at 6 and then gave a concert of pieces from their classical repertoire. The singing was very beautiful, in a disciplined and reverent style - their spiritual formation as outlined above being apparent. It was a delightful way both  to mark the feast and to relax on a late summer evening.

Their web site can be seen at http://petits-chanteurs-st-charles.fr

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