Well known as a collector of folk songs, RVW also made a huge mark on church music as the editor of The English Hymnal (1906, revised 1933), Songs of Praise (1925, enlarged 1931), and The Oxford Book of Carols (1928). He was a proponent of unison singing by the congregation, and many of his own tunes and arrangements are for this medium.
Linking these two passions, From Pub to Pulpit is an imaginative and rousing concert tour which brings together Broomdasher, an a cappella folk group with Coracle, a classically trained instrumental trio and, in collaboration with the resident organist and church choir, creates different programmes for each venue, bringing to life the musical journey of folk songs RVW collected, and later ‘borrowed’ for hymns when editing The English Hymnal. From Pub to Pulpit opens in Down Ampney where RVW was born, and ends at Gloucester Cathedral as part of the 2023 Three Choirs Festival.
RVW 150 also explores his commitment to choral music. In May, the Carice Singers perform Silence and Music and Mass in G minor, and Five Tudor Portraits is performed at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, where it was premiered. In June, the Hereford Chamber Choir performs Five Mystical Songs and An Oxford Elegy, and Mass in G minor is repeated, this time by the City of London Choir.
Make Music Day are developing a choral marathon based on the music of RVW. The over 30 choirs that have so far expressed interest will select from a repertoire list and record their chosen piece, which will then be stitched together into a number of videos for release on 21 June.
Explore RVW 150