Mystic Voices: Saturday 16 February 2019

Mystic Voices

Saturday 16 February at 7:30pm, St Saviour’s Church, St Albans.

Sergei Rachmaninoff: The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.

Alexander L`Estrange: The Prophet – 60th Anniversary Commission

Sergei Rachmaninoff’s first choral masterpiece, The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, is a setting of the texts of the Eastern Orthodox Eucharist service. It is named after John of Antioch, a fifth-century Archbishop of Constantinople, who was famous for his inspirational sermons (Chrysostom means golden-mouthed). Rachmaninoff composed it in a burst of inspiration in just three weeks. He wrote ‘Not for a long time have I written anything with such pleasure’.

After its premiere in Moscow in 1910, the ecclesiastical authorities refused to sanction it for use in church services and when Rachmaninoff fled into exile after the Russian revolution, the work fell into obscurity. A chance discovery of part books in a monastery in Pennsylvania led to its being republished in 1988 and this glorious piece has now become an established part of the Russian liturgical repertoire.

For the choir’s sixtieth-anniversary commission, local composer Alexander L’Estrange has set three texts from Lebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran’s book of inspirational poems, The Prophet, published in 1923. The book contains chapters on a number of subjects including joy and sorrow, freedom, work, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching and friendship, and from these Alexander has selected the sections on marriage, children and death and set them for a cappella double choir.

Conducted by John Gibbons

Please join us afterwards for drinks and party nibbles in the Octagon room

Tickets £15 (£5 child/student)

Call 07570 454744 or e-mail tickets@stalbanschamberchoir.org.uk

or buy online at TicketSource

Book now

Renaissance Christmas: Saturday 8 December 2018

A Renaissance Christmas

Saturday 8 December at 7:30pm, St Peter’s Church, St Albans.

Polychoral Christmas music from the royal courts and cathedrals of 16th and 17th century Europe.

Two outstanding masterpieces by Franco-Flemish composers form the centrepiece of this concert of multi-part music.

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/1455–1521) composed the six-part motet Praeter rerum seriem towards the end of his career. A  parody  mass  of  the  same name for seven voices by Cipriano de Rore (1515/1516–1565) was probably written as a homage to his predecessor at the court of the Dukes of Ferrara in northern Italy.

Giovanni Gabrieli (c. 1554/1557–1612) was organist at St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice from 1585 to 1612. We will be performing his setting of the Magnificat for 17 voices.

Pierre de Manchicourt (c. 1510–1564), another Franco-Flemish composer, composed the six-part motet O Virgo virginum in 1534 while maître de chapelle at Tournai Cathedral in Belgium.

Several eight-part motets complete the programme: Nesciens Mater  by  Jean  Mouton (c. 1459–1522), Hodie Christus natus est by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525–1594) and two settings of In dulci jubilo by the German composers Hieronymus Praetorius (1560–1629) and Samuel Scheidt (1587–1654).

Conducted by John Gibbons

Please join us afterwards for drinks and party nibbles in the Octagon room

Tickets £15 (£5 child/student)

Call 07570 454744 or e-mail tickets@stalbanschamberchoir.org.uk

or buy online at TicketSource

Book now