Marking the 2018 centenary of the Representation of the People Act – before which women in the UK were unable to vote – is a rare performance at the UK Three Choirs Festival of the Mass in D by Ethyl Smyth, a prominent member of the suffragette movement.
The 2018 Three Choirs Festival, which takes place in Hereford, includes Elgar’s 1896 cantata, King Olaf, Parry’s cantata, Invocation to Music, and a performance by vocal ensemble Tenebrae of Parry’s sumptuous Songs of Farewell, composed in the last two years of his life. Other highlights include Lili Boulanger’s setting of Psalm 130 and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. The three Cathedral Choirs of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester combine for joint evensongs and a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610.
The festival will end with Brahms’ Requiem, in a programme including Parry’s own Elegy for Brahms, and Parry’s pupil, Vaughan Williams’ Toward the Unknown Region.