Godolphin Vocal Ensemble has performed and recorded the world premiere of Es ist ein’ Ros’ by Eighteenth Century composer Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824). Much of the oeuvre of historical women composers has nearly been forgotten, but Godolphin music teacher Olivia Sparkhall made a summer holiday project out of investigating some key individuals from the past 1000 years.
Her source-material for Es ist ein’ Ros’ was twofold: a huge book of over 1000 German songs, and a set of 12 songs which von Paradis wrote whilst she was on tour of west Europe. The music is slightly different in each publication. The original, rather obscure words, have been replaced with the better known, liturgically more useable ones to make the piece suitable to be sung during Advent and Christmas, and indeed for any Marian festival.
The piece has been published in the new Multitude of Voyces anthology of music for the Christmas season - from Advent to Candlemas; a book designed to help choirs achieve a more equal, diverse and inclusive (EDI) repertoire. Godolphin Vocal Ensemble has taken part in several EDI community engagement projects including the International Women’s Day services in St Thomas’s Church, Salisbury, and is looking forward to the exciting inclusive Makaton Mass project which will take place when we are able to gather communities together again.