We intended to perform Fauré’s Requiem for our spring concert this year, but in the light of government advice, we decided to postpone the concert to 10 October 2020. And choir rehearsals have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, the pandemic made this date impossible. The choir, unable to rehearse as usual, took to Zoom and with the encouraging and good-humoured guidance of its Director of Music, Marc Murray, has been having weekly rehearsals, ready for concerts (we hope!) in 2021. Since November we have been enjoying singing Christmas music, carols old and new, in the privacy of our homes, but with the ‘backing’ of a range of professional choirs. (Note added in December 2020).
Notes on Fauré’s Requiem (as written for the concert as planned for October 2020).
Composed between 1887 and 1890 for La Madeleine, Paris, Fauré”s Requiem has become a firm favourite with British choirs, and with audiences. And for good reason. Its beautiful melodies are shared by the different voice parts – not just given to the sopranos! And it is economical in its use of soloists, having just soprano and baritone. Unlike Verdi’s large-scale, theatrical setting of the requiem mass, it is a restrained, contemplative piece; which is not to say that it doesn’t also have its dramatic moments. Its most poignant performance was for Fauré’s own funeral in 1924 in its full orchestral version.
Fauré will also be represented in this concert by his extremely beautiful Cantique de Jean Racine. The second half of the programme will consist of sacred anthems some well-known, others less so.
Psalm 150 – a setting by César Franck
Teach me, O Lord – William Byrd
Hear my prayer – Felix Mendelssohn (which includes the section ‘O for the wings of a dove’)
How lovely are thy dwellings – Johannes Brahms
The Spirit of the Lord from The Apostles – Edward Elgar
Where thou reignest – Franz Schubert
Blest pair of sirens – Charles Parry
The concert will be conducted by the choir’s Director of Music, Marc Murray.
Holy Trinity Church, Houghton Street, Southport PR9 0PR.
10 October 2020 at 7.30 pm.
Tickets £12. Ring 01704540097 or 01704535208. Or at the door.