Our unaccompanied concert will contrast Bach’s glorious motet, Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (Praise the Lord all ye nations) with Byrd’s setting of the same text. We will sing sonorous Rachmaninoff and some more familiar favorites. Buy tickets – £10.
‘Bel canto’ simply means beautiful singing and refers to the Italian school of singing which began to develop in around 1600. Essentially it is handful of simple ideas about posture, breathing and singing which can be easily understood and taught, enabling all singers to get the best out of their voices.
Understanding this technique will greatly enhance your contribution to the choirs you sing in and your own level of personal satisfaction.
This workshop will address vocal challenges, such as high notes and long phrases, and specific choral challenges, such as ensemble and intonation, all looked at from the point of view of a choral singer. Participants will be taken through a comprehensive warming up routine and then shown how what is covered in the warm-up relates to specific challenges in standard repertoire works.
10.30-10.55 Warm up: waking up body, mind and voice for optimum performance
10.55-11.20 Why posture is the key to good intonation. Working on If ye love me by Thomas Tallis
11.35-12.30 The key to good ensemble and clarity of text. Working on O clap your hands by Orlando Gibbons
12.30-13.45 Lunch. We recommend you bring a packed lunch.
13.45-14.35 How to use challenging words for expressive effect. Working on God so loved the world by John Stainer
14.50-15.25 Why singing shouldn’t feel like heavy lifting. Working on Locus iste by Anton Bruckner
15.25-15.45 Sing through and Q & A.
Music will be provided on arrival. If you want to study it in advance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day.
The choir’s first visit to Richmond, where we sang glorious choral music with favourites old and new, and also introduced works not heard so often, by composers including Byrd, Lassus, Tallis and Lauridsen.
Locus Iste – Bruckner
Cantate Domino – Monteverdi
Sicut cervus – Palestrina
Tristis est anima mea – Lassus
— Organ Interlude —
O magnum mysterium – Victoria
O magnum mysterium – Lauridsen
If ye love me – Tallis
Loquebantur variis linguis – Tallis
Haec dies – Byrd
Sing joyfully – Byrd
— Interval —
God so loved the world – Stainer
Holy is the true light – Harris
The Lamb – Tavener
— Organ Interlude —
Shenandoah – arr Erb
O waly, waly – Rutter
Bushes and briars – James
Over the Rainbow – Arlen
Chris Denton, Musical Director at St Mary’s, played the interludes on the church’s fine Harrison organ.
Tickets will be available at the door (£10 with under-19s admitted free), for this unaccompanied concert which starts at 7.30 pm.
The concert features four beautiful motets by Francis Poulenc.
The Quatre Motets pour un temps de Noel are of a gentle nature, both musically and thematically. They are light in texture and exude a sense of joyful serenity. Poulenc began these short motets for four-part mixed chorus in November 1951, completing them the following May. They reflect Poulenc’s love of religious paintings and architecture through subtle musical/visual imagery. The composer often studied religious art, and he kept a picture of a Romanesque cathedral bathed in sunlight on his mantelpiece. The first motet, O magnum mysterium (O great mystery), announces the coming of the Baby Jesus, and praises the Virgin Mary; it superimposes a crystalline soprano melody over the hushed accompaniment of the lower three voices. Quem vidistis pastores dicite (Shepherds, tell whom you saw), the second motet, takes its text from the Christmas Matins service. As a “choros Angelorum” (chorus of angels), the soprano, alto, and tenor play off the bass voice extensively in this painstaking word-by-word setting. A fortissimo unison on the word “Dicite” (tell!) heightens the theatricality of the scene. Videntes stellam (Seeing a Star), the third motet, also makes extensive use of the upper three voices alone to create an airy, suitably celestial texture. The textual entrance of the Magi and their gifts of gold and myrrh ushers in a more complex chromatic texture. The final motet, Hodie, Christus natus est (Today, Christ is Born), is the most exuberant.
The concert is to raise funds for the Marie Collins Foundation, which is based in Masham, but works across the UK to enable children who suffer sexual abuse and exploitation on-line to recover and live safe, fulfilling lives.
We welcome back Tim Harper, Assistant Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral. As always, our concert includes both well-loved favourites and works heard less often. Tim accompanies the choir in some pieces and will also got the chance to show us how the organ performs in two solo interludes.
The programme will include:
Praise our Lord, all ye gentiles – Byrd
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom – Tomkins