The Unicorn Singers’ contribution to this year’s Agincourt Anniversary celebrations looks set to be one of the most authentic to date. Through their reconstruction of a 600-year-old thanksgiving service that Henry V himself would recognise, the singers hope to connect us with the distant world of medieval Britain. Henry V, the charismatic soldier prince and idolised king, who surrounded his court with many a great composer of the age, was apparently no mean musician himself.
The Singers have tracked down music associated with Henry and Agincourt and have constructed a service of Compline such as Henry might have experienced at first hand after the battle of Agincourt in 1415. For those who wish to attend this rather special event, a feast of music fit for a king awaits! On the musical menu will be not only the famous Agincourt Carol but also John Dunstable’s remarkable Veni Creator Spiritus, performed at the victory celebrations. There will also be several motets by the other great composers of the day to honour the Virgin, a cult figure in the eyes and prayers of medieval worshippers. Another highlight will be a performance of Henry’s own setting of the Gloria whose jazzy rhythms feel quite modern, despite a 600-year time gap!