Spring 2017 - Dvorak: Mass in D

 

Allegri: Miserere  
Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine  
MacMillan: Cantos Sagrados  
Dvorak: Mass in D

Saturday 25 March 2017   7.30pm   Bath Abbey

 

Bath Bach Choir

Conductor: Nigel Perrin

Tickets £10, £15, £20, £25, £28
Bath Box Office 01225 463 362

 

 

 

Songs through a stained glass window
Bath Bach Choir’s spring concert brings together four sacred works that one would expect to hear performed in an abbey or cathedral, yet which could not be more different from one another – spanning, as they do, over 350 years of musical evolution.

Allegri’s Miserere was composed in the 1630s for the choir of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and would have been sung in complete darkness as the Pope and cardinals knelt before the altar. Today this setting of Psalm 51 is sung every Maundy Thursday in Britain’s cathedrals, its haunting tones instantly recognisable even to those who know little sacred choral music. The work has become famous for the five spine-tingling moments when the solo soprano hits a high C.

Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine is one of his best loved works, for which he won first prize at the Ecole Niedermeyer in 1865 when he was a 20-year-old student. The rich harmonies of the choir and the beauty of the flowing accompaniment, with Racine’s text calling upon the Lord to inspire his people with the holy spirit, have made this brief gem of a piece a favourite in the choral repertoire.

Dvorak’s Mass in D (1887) is a beautiful, romantic gem of a piece in which Slavic edginess meets mellifluous, Brahmsian melodies. Dvorak wrote it for his friend and patron Josef Hlavka and for the consecration of a new chapel in western Bohemia, managing to combine old church modes with modern approaches to harmony. Brahms wrote of Dvorak: “The fellow has more ideas than any of us.” Some of these evolved into the wonderful, folkloric choruses you may well be hearing for the first time.

James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados (1990) – sacred songs – are edge-of-the-seat settings of three modern secular poems about political repression in South America, coupled with traditional sacred Latin texts. One of Britain’s most renowned composers, MacMillan is a favourite of Bath Bach Choir, which has performed several of his works including the south-west premiere of his St John Passion. This piece is challenging and intense, both to sing and to listen to, but MacMillan’s musical language is immediate, personal and open.

 

Summer 2017 - Bath Bach Choir's 70th Anniversary Concert

J S Bach Magnificat  
Mozart Mass in C minor

Sat 1st July   Bath Abbey

Autumn 2017 - A Concert of Remembrance

Paco Pena: Cordero de Dios  
Arvo Part: The Beatitudes  
Pizzetti: Messa di Requiem  
Tavener: Syvati

Tavener: song for Athene
Eleanor Daley: In Remembrance
Whitacre: Cloudburst

Saturday 11th November   Malmesbury Abbey

Carols by Candlelight 2017

Wednesday 13th, Thursday14th, Friday 15th December   7.30 pm   The Pump Room, Bath

Three opportunities to hear the popular Carols by Candlelight.  As ever, conductor Nigel Perrin acts as master of ceremonies: setting the scene, training the audience and raising laughs with his seasonal banter

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