Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Annual choir photo taken after the Good Friday service.

Maundy Thursday 13th April 2017.

The choir sang Duruflé’s  Ubi Caritas from Quatre motets sur des themes grégoriens Op 10 for choir a capella (1960).

Duruflé was born in 1902 and was a chorister in Rouen Cathedral choir school. Moving to Paris when he was 17, he took organ lessons and joined the Conservatoire de Paris in 1920, graduating with first prizes in organ, harmony, piano accompaniment and composition.

Ubi caritas is a hymn of the western church traditionally used as one of the antiphons for the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday.  The Gregorian melody was composed sometime between 4th and 10th centuries with the text believed to be from early Christian gatherings before the formalisation of the Mass.

At the ending of the service Psalm 22 was sung in plainsong, women and men alternating verses as the altar was stripped ready for the Gethsemeny Watch.

Good Friday 14th April 2017

Olivet to Calvary  John Henry Maunder (1858-1920) words by Shapcott Wensley.

Maunder was born in Chelsea and studied at The Royal Academy of Music in London.  He was organist at St Matthew's, Sydenham and St Paul's, Forest Hill, as well as churches in Blackheath and Sutton.  He was an accompanist at The Albert Hall and trained the choir for Sir Henry Irving's original production of Faust in 1887.

His sacred cantatas were widely performed and admired but went out of fashion, to be revived in the Netherlands and UK. 

Olivet to Calvary is considered to be a fine example of music written for the late Victorian/early Edwardian Anglican church. Some today may find it sentimental, but it has a sincerity and dedication which has carried the piece onwards despite being a product of its time.   It considers the last few days of the life of Christ on earth.

The choir's rendition was interspersed with readings which reflected the music.