Serendipity is defined as the ” occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way“.  The term was apparently coined by Horace Walpole in 1754.  And it is serendipity which figures into my next favourite concert.

Horace and his dog... thank you, Horace.
Horace and his dog… thank you, Horace.

As will be apparent from a cursory glance at the posts which precede this one, I have indulged my fondness for the popular songs of my childhood/adolescence in my selection of musical examples and illustrations.  Not exclusively, however.  My “favourite concerts” series is a repackaging of music mentioned in previous posts.  And, for this post, we first look back to a post which celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary trip to England and France.  We began that trip with a visit to Salisbury, England.  Now it so happened that our arrival coincided with an International Arts Festival hosted by the city.  That festival included a concert held at Salisbury Cathedral on June 3rd, 2012.  And…here comes the serendipity…

→  this festival/concert was being held while we were staying in the city

→ the venue (Salisbury Cathedral) would be the ideal venue for almost any concert…marvelous acoustics, an awe-inspiring structure with a rich history

→ the concert was performed by Ex Cathedra, a internationally acclaimed Birmingham-based choir

→ the program featured the music of Thomas Tallis as well as contemporary composer Alec Roth

→ the night (early June) was about as pleasant a summer evening as you could imagine

An evening of song at the cathedral...
The perfect concert setting on a perfect evening…

As I mentioned in the original 2012 post, it is impossible to convey the experience of that evening…but here (again) is a taste…

This is Ex Cathedra performing Roth’s Sol Justitiae, which was part of the evening’s program (note the [at times, eerie] harmonies used in the piece, very evocative in the cathedral setting)


And here is  Spem In Alium by Thomas Tallis (as performed by the Tallis Scholars), another selection from that evening’s program…

And finally, this is Ex Cathedra performing Samuel Barber‘s Agnus Dei

The good fortune (aka serendipity) of being able to hear that wonderful music in that wonderful venue on that particular night will ensure its lasting place in my list of favourite concerts.


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