Schütz: Musikalische Exequien
Instruments of Time and Truth
Oxford Consort of Voices
Edward Higginbottom Director
Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien is a transformative work, known to history as “the first German Requiem”. With its tightly-woven selection of scriptural texts expressing the hope and reassurance of the life to come, and dramatic use of musical space, it stands as a high point in Schütz’s career, and a piece that has to be heard to be believed.
Tickets £10-£25, book via Tickets Oxford. Student tickets available for £5. Music Faculty students can obtain a free ticket by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students interested in taking part in the Vocal Consort can apply via the IT&T website.
Instruments of Time and Truth, described on BBC Record Review as 'an absolutely superb band of instrumental soloists', was founded in 2014 by musicians Gabriel Amherst and Judith Evans to provide a platform for international performers resident in and around Oxford.
Since its inception IT&T has performed frequently in the Sheldonian Theatre, the Holywell Music Room, SJE Arts, Dorchester Abbey, and many of Oxford’s churches and chapels. Locally, the orchestra has also performed as part of Garsington Opera at Wormsley, Longborough Festival Opera, at Waddesdon Manor, the Divine Office Festival, and the Tetbury Festival.
The ensemble has assumed a significant role in underpinning the tradition of choral excellence at the University of Oxford, collaborating with the choirs of Christ Church, Keble, Merton, New, Magdalen, The Queen’s, Somerville and St Peter’s Colleges, as well as with choirs from within the community: Frideswide Voices, the Oxford Bach Choir, Oxford Girls’ Choir, Oxford Pro Musica Singers, Schola Cantorum of Oxford, St Edward’s Singers, and the Summertown Choral Society.
Instruments of Time and Truth has also extended its activities further afield, performing at London’s Kings Place and Wilton’s Music Hall, Leicester’s De Montfort Hall, Peterborough Cathedral, in Bath’s Assembly Rooms as part of the West Country Choral Festival, and at the Stour Festival in Kent. IT&T has also been in demand in Europe, performing in France, Spain, the Canary Islands, and as part of the Valetta Baroque Festival in Malta.
IT&T has often worked alongside the Oxford University Music Faculty, coaching the student baroque ensemble, giving masterclasses and participating in conferences on historically informed performance as well as establishing an education programme which opens the doors of the University to local schoolchildren.
In 2019, IT&T's ground-breaking 'InSpires' education project was awarded the OMEP Music Partnership Cup at the Music Hub Gala Awards. The scheme has been highly praised for its innovative work in introducing school students to period instruments and performance practice, with an extensive programme of courses, coaching and individual tuition.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ensemble expanded its digital offering, producing two live recordings of the music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier, several recordings of Handel with soprano Anna Devin, and collaborating with the University of Warwick on an illustrated online lecture series, “Musical Culture and Empire in 18th Century London”.
IT&T has so far appeared on three recordings: “Pelham Humfrey: Symphony Anthems” with the Oxford Consort of Voices, and “Ceremonial Oxford: Music for the Georgian University by William Hayes” and “Resurrexi! Easter in Vienna with Mozart and the Haydn Brothers” with the Choir of Keble College, Oxford.