Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Forth coming concert in the church.

21st May 2017

The choir pieces were both by C V Stanford, the "Te Deum" in B flat and "O for a closer walk with God".

The "Te Deum" is from Morning, Evening and Communion Service in B flat Major first performed in Trinity College Chapel,Cambridge on 25th May 1879.  "O for a closer walk with God" is Op 113 No 6.

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) thought to be one of our great British composers was actually Irish, born in Dublin, although educated at The University of Cambridge and then studied music in Leipzig and Berlin.

Whilst an undergraduate, he was appointed organist of Trinity College, Cambridge and was one of the founding professors of the Royal College of Music, where he taught composition for the rest of his life.  He was also Professor of Music at Cambridge.  His pupils included Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams whose fame went on to surpass his own.

He is best remembered for his sacred choral compositions for church performance in the Anglican tradition. Along with Hubert Parry and Alexander Mackenzie, he was thought responsible for the renaissance of music in the British Isles.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

14th May 2017

The anthem today was Mozart's "Ave verum corpus".

“Ave verum corpus” (Hail, true body) is a motet in D major, composed in 1791 (K. 618). It was composed for Anton Stoll a friend of both Mozart and Joseph Haydn, who was the musical co-ordinator of a church near Vienna.  It was written to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi.  Mozart’s  manuscript contains minimal musical direction, with only a single “sotto voce” at the beginning of the piece. It was written only 6 months before Mozart’s death.

Mozart ( 27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was born in Salzburg, Austria and considered to be a child prodigy, being proficient at keyboard and violin at the age of 5 when he commenced composing. He performed before European royalty.  At age 17 he was engaged as a musician in the Salzburg court, but was restless and travelled to find a better position.  He was dismissed from his Salzburg post whilst travelling. He chose to stay in Vienna, the capital, where he became famous but had no financial security.  He composed more than 600 works and remains a popular classical composer.

May 13th 2017

The choir sang J S Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" at a wedding.

This is the common title of the 10th and last movement of the cantata “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” (BVW 147) composed in 1716 and 1723.  It is commonly played at weddings and Christian festive seasons of Easter and Christmas.  Much of the music of this cantata comes from Bach’s Weimar period (the 1716 parts) finished in 1723 in Leipzig.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He was a highly respected organist in his lifetime, although not recognised as a composer of magnitude (possibly one of the greatest) until a revival of his works in the first half of the 19th century. He showed considerable skill in counterpoint and harmony. He was able to adapt rhythm, form and texture from abroad. He was a prolific composer of church music due to the demand for huge numbers of cantatas over the Christian year.  It is thought her wrote over 300 with only around 200 surviving. He also wrote many other works sacred and secular.  It is now agreed that his music has technical command, intellectual depth and artistic beauty.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

7th May 2017 Easter 4. Good Shepherd Sunday

Today the choir sang Howard Goodall's "The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm23)".  This was written in 1994 for the BBC's "The Vicar of Dibley".  He felt that the setting of a familiar sacred text with traditional choral singing would offset the quirky humour of the story lines.

Howard Goodall is a composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores (including "The Vicar of Dibley", "Mr Bean" and "QI").  In January 2007 he was appointed Ambassador for Singing in England, the first ever such appointment due to his energetic campaigning for music education.  His settings of "Psalm 23" and "Love Divine" are amongst the most performed contemporary choral works. Many younger people now only know Howard Goodall's setting of Psalm 23.