Spring concert – postponed or cancelled?

Final designjpg

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.





Christmas Oratorio

Xmas 2019

Since September the Southport Bach Choir have been working hard at their German for a performance of the first three parts of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio: Weihnachts-Oratorium. It is some years since we last sung this work (we gave a complete performance in 1986, and sang some of the choral numbers in 2011) and it is a pleasure to get to know this joyful work again. One of the delights is learning from the inside, as it were, the different and marvellously varied ways in which Bach harmonises the well-known chorale tunes.

On 7 December there will be the further delight of hearing the solo numbers sung by soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Julia Smith – soprano
Hollie-Anne Bangham – mezzo-soprano
Philip O’Connor – tenor
Thomas D Hopkinson – bass

Accompaniment by the Liverpool Concert Orchestra will make the performance still more festive, adding the timbres of strings, oboes and flute, percussion and harpsichord.

The performance will be conducted by our Director of Music, Marc Murray.

Saturday, 7 December 2019 at 7.30 pm.
Holy Trinity Church, Hoghton Street, Southport PR9 0 PT.
Tickets £12 – 01704 540097 or 01704 535208. Or at the door.