Programme 2019 to 2020
Concert dates & notes
for the current season
A photo of Brahms in 1869, the period he was writing "Schicksalslied".
Not the older white bearded man with whom we are more familiar!
Music of Freedom and Destiny
Saturday 2nd November 2019
St Mary's Church, The Causeway, Horsham - 7.30 p.m.
Brahms, Verdi and Rutter
The centre piece of our November concert is a return of Brahms' "Schicksalslied", or Song of Destiny, which we performed to some acclaim in 2013. One Brahms expert has described it as “perhaps the most widely loved of all of Brahms’s compositions and the most perfect of his smaller choral works" The piece is sometimes referred to as the “Little Requiem" as it shares many stylistic and compositional similarities with Brahms's most ambitious choral composition, a German Requiem. (wikipedia) One of the shortest of Brahms' major choral works, a typical performance lasts no more than 15 or 16 minutes. Brahms himself admitted that the music is more uplifting than the text which some might think somewhat gloomy, but as we shall be singing in German most will experience only the sheer joy of the music.
Brahms' original score completed in 1871
Brahms' "Song of Destiny" will contrast well with the second work in this programme, albeit that it was written 100 years later, John Rutter's "Feel the Spirit". He describes his work thus: "The great heritage of the African-American spiritual has fired the imagination of composers, performers, and audiences for more than 100 years. Each generation has produced interpretations of many kinds, yet, curiously, few composers have combined the resources of soloist, choir, and orchestra. John Rutter was inspired by the vocal artistry of Melanie Marshall to build a set of spirituals crafted to her personal style, partnered by choir, with the orchestra to supply a further dimension of colour and emotional depth."
The third piece in this inspiring programme is scheduled to be "Va, pensiero" or the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" from Verdi's Nabucco, a piece of music that most will know and love. When Verdi died in 1901 300,000 gathered in the streets of his hometown Milan (more than half the entire population of the city), and sang ‘Va pensiero’, his great lament for a lost homeland that he had written some sixty years earlier in his first operatic triumph. Although we will have many fewer singers this is a marvellous piece to hear no matter the size of the choir.
Acknowledgments & Sources
Community Carol Concert
Thursday 19 December 2019
The Chapel, Christ’s Hospital - 7.30 p.m.
Our always popular Christmas Concert with carols and Christmas music for the audience both to hear and to sing
Angus Ross Concert
With Christ's Hospital School Chapel Choir
Sunday 22 March 2020
Big School, Christ’s Hospital, Horsham - 7.00 p.m.
Will Todd – Mass in Blue
Will Todd is a British composer whose musical career began as a chorister and so was steeped in the traditions of both classical music and the Church. At the same time he devleoped a fascination with Jazz and improvisation so that when in 2003 a choral conductor suggested to him that he write a Jazz Mass he guessed that Will would be able to combine the two musical forms successfully.
Mass in Blue was an immediate success with choirs and audiences alike. It has been given more than a hundred performances and is now an established part of the choral repertoire.
The secret of its success lies in its fidelity to two very different musical traditions: that of the sung Mass, one of the oldest forms of European music whose evolution indeed co-incides with the development of classical music as we know it: and that of the Blues, a distinct form of African-American music that came into prominence in the nineteenth century and paved the way for jazz.
For this concert Christ’s Hospital Choral Society join the school choir for what should be an uplifting, unusual and exciting evening of music.
Acknowledgments & Sources
Extracted from Notes by Stuart Brown