Crux is a gathering of voices on the western fringe of Europe in the historic city of Dublin.

Devoted to the flowing beauty of chant as the inspiration behind all Western music, the ensemble interprets old music for new audiences. Directed by Paul McGough, Crux is known for appearances in the hit TV series Vikings, movies such as Pilgrimage and various documentaries.

 

The group varies in number – anything from three to thirteen or more, depending on the event – and is based at the beautiful St. Mary’s Church on Haddington Road, Dublin. There, Crux sings the early mass on the first and second Sunday of each month, including Medieval, Renaissance and Contemporary choral music and may be viewed live online via this link.

Crux sings at festivals and events around Ireland and abroad (eg Galway Early Music Festival, Throckmorton Literary Festival, UK, Trim Festival of Masks, Dark Dublin) and is a permanent feature at various historic centres (eg. King John’s Castle, Limerick, Clondalkin Round Tower.) More details are found in our blog section.
– Paul McGough, founder, director.

 

News

This Sunday, Crux will sing more music by the wonderful Ludovico Grossi da Viadana (movements from his l'Hora Passa mass and select motets, as sung last month)

We keep in mind the sound advice of Viadana in his introduction to his 'Cento Concerti Ecclesiastici' (1602). He says his music "must be sung sensitively with discretion and grace, using small ornaments (accenti) and judgement, and passaggi with restraint and in their proper places; above all, nothing must be added to what is printed because nowadays there are certain singers who, favoured by nature with some vocal facility, never sing the songs the way they are written, without realising that today such procedures are no longer welcome, indeed held in very low esteem, especially in Rome where the true manner of good singing flourishes."

Perhaps the most influential composers in Italy in Viadana's time were himself, Caccini, Monteverdi and Cavalieri, and they were united in their condemnation of the overly-florid, improvising style heard in certain centres (eg St. Mark's Basilica, Venice) However, they do approve of the more discreet ornaments, the accenti, groppi and trilli, notated below.
While the members of Crux don't have the benefit of a rigorous, early-17th-century Italian coloratura vocal training, we have a few informed tricks up our cassock sleeves and we'll see what subtleties we can add to this Sunday's musical offering.

For more singer advice (from Caccini, virtuoso), see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=32KfeEKA5Dk
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“Some of the most beautiful singing I have heard from an Irish choir” – Tim Thurston, RTÉ Lyric FM

Video

Audio

Hear our music through many platforms:

Programmes

1. Romance and Reverence

Crux sings of love and commitment in this concert of vocal music from the Ars Antiqua to modern day.

Two lovers navigate the rise and fall of life and love in a fickle world, all doors to which – and from which – are firmly manned by the Church in rituals of music and ceremony.

Duration: 1 hour excluding interval.

2. The Weeping of David

Crux celebrates the rich literature of David’s psalms in settings of select tracts, eg. ‘When David Heard’ (Tomkins), funeral music by Henry Purcell, Tallis’ imitative ‘Miserere Nostri’ and Allegri’s ‘Miserere Mei’. These substantial works are supported by solo and instrumental music; personal, heart-rending laments from the time of the Crusades, songs for the fallen Jerusalem and for fallen loved ones.

Duration: 1 hour excluding interval.

3. The Rosary

Details to follow.

4. Christmas and Winter

Currently, Crux is gathering ideas for a concert program dedicated to the season of Christmas and Winter, a collection of music that reflects the sacred and secular calendar in rich artistry.
Details will appear in time.

Blog

  • A long work in progress, our new site is starting to take shape. Full details coming soon....

  • Vikings first contacted me in 2013  about providing some singing monks for an upcoming episode. The ...

  • In an astonishing soundtrack by composer Stephen McKeon, Crux swells to sixty male voices with overt...

Contact

Phone

086 3817070

Email

info[@]cruxvocalensemble.com

Address

Churchtown, Co. Dublin, Ireland