Past Concert: Saturday 27 October at St John’s Church, Sharow

20140705 St John Church Sharow

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 programme will be:

  • Bogoroditse Dyevo – Rachmaninov
  • Dostoino est – Tchaikovsky
  • Khvalite imya Gospodne – Tchaikovsky
  • Four motets for the season of Christmas – Poulenc
  • Interlude – played by Helen Proudley (piano)
  • Super flumina Babylonis – Palestrina
  • If ye love me – Tallis
  • Hosanna to the Son of David – Gibbons
  • Laudibus in Sanctis – Byrd
  • Interval
  • Locus iste – Bruckner
  • God so loved the world – Stainer
  • Beati quorum via – Stanford
  • The Lamb – Tavener
  • Interlude – played by Helen Proudley (piano)
  • Shenandoah
  • Linden Lea – Vaughan Williams
  • Haste on my joys – Finzi
  • My spirit sang all day – Finzi

The conductor is Sam Gardner.




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