Gregorian chant in an 11th Century Anglo-Saxon church tower is just breathtaking

11 April 2017, 20:19

Want to be taken back in time about 1000 years? Here's the ancient Exsultet, sung in a space almost as old as the music itself...

This gorgeous chant was composed between the fourth and tenth centuries - the time when singers used just one line of melody without harmony or accompaniment. It's often sung on Easter Sunday.

St Mary's in Guildford is a stone-built Anglo-Saxon church from around 1040 AD, with its original tower still standing today. In the 11th century, church music would have been almost exclusively single lines of Gregorian chant like this one - and the small church clearly has a pretty stunning acoustic for it.

Here's the Exsultet sung by soprano Alexandra Stevenson, Director of the Girl Choristers at Holy Trinity and St Mary's, Guildford.

Exsultet

01:26

And there's more about the church and music at Holy Trinity and St Mary's, Guildford here.

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