Baroque Masterpieces

Wednesday 25th June 2014 at 7.45pm
St James Priory, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NZ

Richard May cello
Richard Johnson chamber organ

Domenico Scarlatt (1685-1757) Stabat Mater
J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf BWV 226
Henry Purcell (1659-1695) Hear my prayer

Solo cello and chamber organ:
J.S. Bach Arioso from Cantata BWV 156
J.S. Bach Ich ruf zu dir BWV 639
Antonio Vivaldi Cello Sonata in E minor RV 40

The medieval priory church of St James in central Bristol will be filled with the glorious sound of masterpieces from the Baroque era in this mid summer concert, performed by Exultate Singers and the virtuoso cellist Richard May.

Written early in Scarlatti's career, the meditative and poignant Stabat Mater is his greatest piece of sacred music, weaving ten voice parts in an exquisite tapestry of polyphony throughout the work. A setting of a mediaeval poem, it describes in beautiful choral writing Mary’s sorrow as she stands at the foot of the cross.

Composed in 1729 for the funeral service of the rector of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, Bach's motet Der Geist hilft ('The spirit gives aid to our weakness') opens with a thrilling and animated eight-part chorus, leading onto two fugual sections and closing with a chorale setting.

Exultate Singers is delighted to welcome back Richard May to play solo cello pieces by Bach and Vivaldi as well as continuo cello in the choral works, alongside Richard Johnson on chamber organ. Since winning the string section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition, Richard May has achieved a successful international career both as a soloist and chamber musician, performing the major cello concerti and appearing at the Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre and at festivals in Salzburg, Berlin and Aldeburgh.


Adults £15
Concessions £13
Students in full time education £5
Under 18s £2


St James Priory, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NZ

Tickets will be available to buy on the door from 7pm (cash or cheque only)

How to find St James' Priory

View St James' Priory, Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NZ in a larger map


The nearest Bristol City Council car park is on Trenchard Street. Parking is £2.50 for the evening after 6pm. Use the pedestrian exit on level 8 to come out on Park Row and turn right to walk down past the Bristol Royal Infirmary, then turn right down Whitson Street and the entrance to St James Priory is on your left after the bus station.

A limited number of parking for disabled badge holders is available in the car park outside St James Priory itself. Please request parking when you book tickets in the comments box, or email