Sunday 25 February 2018
Please note change of date & time
St Peter’s Church 8.00pm
– Songs of Farewell –
Alfred Desenclos – Messe de Requiem
Hubert Parry – Songs of Farewell
Michael Tippett – Spirituals from A Child of Our Time
Max Reger – O Tod, wie bitter bist du
A concert reflecting the response by composers to tragic events that changed the course of world history
Hubert Parry (1848-1918), like many composers, was in despair when the First World War broke out and experienced great grief and anger at the human cost. His set of six Songs of Farewell was written towards the end of his life and can be seen as his farewell to the rapidly vanishing world of his youth. They are: My soul, there is a country; I know my soul hath power to know all things; Never weather-beaten sail; There is an old belief; At the round earth’s imagined corners; and Lord, let me know mine end. Common to all the texts are the contrasting themes of the transitory nature of life and the redeeming power of faith.
Max Reger (1873-1916) described his motet O Tod, wie bitter bist du (Oh death, how bitter you are) as “a shockingly sad work with a transfiguring conclusion”. The piece encompasses a wide range of emotions from grief to hope.
Michael Tippett (1905-1998) wrote the Spirituals from the oratorio A Child of our time (1941) to evoke not only the torments of Jews in Europe during the Second World War but also those of anyone “rejected, cast out from the centre of our society onto the fringes: into slums, into concentration camps, into ghettos.” The five Spirituals are: Steal away; Nobody knows; Go down, Moses; By and by; and Deep river.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, composers such as Alfred Desenclos (1912-1971) were inspired to write music on the theme of remembrance and loss. His Messe de Requiem (1963) follows in the distinguished French Requiem tradition of Saint-Saëns, Faurė and Duruflė. It incorporates influences from Gregorian chant with rich, more modern harmonies to create an atmosphere of contemplative serenity, and counts among the most significant pieces of religious choral music of the 20th century.
Christopher Cromar was born in Scotland and educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Chetham’s School of Music and the Conservatoire Supėrieur de Paris. He now works extensively as a conductor, pianist and organist on the concert platform and as a repetiteur and vocal coach for leading opera companies, choirs (including the BBC Singers and Halle Choir) and distinguished soloists.
Christopher has also pursued a career as a concert organist giving many recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College, Cambridge and Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris and also in Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and the USA.
TICKETS £15 (£5 child/student)
BOOKING tel 07570 454744; email firstname.lastname@example.org;