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.

Christmas Concert 2015

Our Christmas concert this year will include Charpentier’s atmospheric mass based on French carol tunes: Messe de minuit. Although these tunes are not particularly familiar to an English audience, they lend the solemn words of the mass a lightness and joyfulness appropriate to the magical moment of Christ’s birth. Our performance on Saturday 12 December will be accompanied by Robert Woods on the piano and organ, and instrumentalists from Liverpool Concert Orchestra.

The rest of the programme will consist of carols old and new. This year, as a small tribute to Sir David Willcocks, who died earlier this year, we are performing his setting of ‘Tomorrow shall be my dancing day’. We shall also sing ‘Wassail’ by his son Jonathan Willcocks.  Bob Chilcott has become something of a favourite with the choir, and we shall be singing several settings and arrangements by him.

In our summer concert we were delighted to sing a piece by our own Director of Music, Ian Crawford. He set the words of Christina Rossetti’s charming poem, ‘A Birthday’, in honour of the choir’s 50th anniversary. For this December concert, celebrating Christ’s (rather more significant) birthday, he has set the traditional words of ‘The Boar’s Head Carol’, and keeps the choir on its toes with syncopated rhythms and the need for clean, clear articulation! We hope to do the carol justice on Saturday.