Crickhowell Music Festival 2023

Posted: 18th March 2023

Manifesto – Choral music with great expectations!

2023 will be Crickhowell Choral Society’s 27th Crickhowell Music Festival.  It will feature pieces that held great expectations for their composers and so represent a kind of musical manifesto of their talent.

The concerts include Mozart’s most ambitious choral work, a Missa Solemnis conceived on a scale comparable to those of Bach and Beethoven, and the result of a curious vow in thanksgiving to God for the composer’s marriage and his musical abilities. (Saturday, 29 April)

Equally impressive is the young Handel’s powerful setting of Dixit Dominus written for the Carmelite celebrations in Rome during his Italian apprenticeship there. The sheer scale and vision of this piece is unlike any other setting and one that would announce Handel’s creative genius to the world. (Sunday, 30 April)

An expert fleet of soloists will be on hand to tackle the exceptional technical and emotional demands of these virtuoso pieces, aided and abetted by some responsive singing from the choir.

In true Festival tradition, the event is also showcasing some hidden gems by Baroque composers that deserve to be better known. Such flagship pieces as Vivaldi’s vocal masterpiece Confitebor will serve to complement Handel’s Dixit Dominus, alongside three further Vesper Psalm settings by their Czech contemporary, Zelenka.
  Zelenka is a composer now taking his rightful place in the musical pantheon and, as we shall hear, he presents us with perfect miniatures in an effervescent style that was greatly admired by Bach himself.

Which brings us to another type of manifesto that will be unveiled during the Festival Service on Sunday, 30 April, when Luther’s mighty reformation hymn Now thank we all our God is heard in its joyous Cantata setting by J.S. Bach (BWV 192).

This year’s opening Celtic Folk Night on Friday, 28 April, is being held at the Clarence Hall and features Patrick Rimes and Angharad Jenkins (of Calan fame), two outstanding musicians who are breathing new life into traditional Welsh tunes. Their violin virtuosity and lyricism alongside imaginative flare will leave you speechless.

Last but not least, Monday, 1 May gives us a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the Society’s legendary choral scholars in an informal bank holiday recital of songs and airs.

This is a Festival not to be missed!  Tickets for all the events are on sale via the Society website (, by emailing, by calling 07816 991501, or visiting Webbs of Crickhowell to buy them in person.

Further information on the Music Festival is available at