Thursday, 10 May 2018
For our main summer concert we are returning to the beautiful church at Pillerton Hersey where we sang Rutter’s Requiem last year. That turned out to be a memorable occasion – haunting accompaniment from oboe, cello, and organ; young soloists from Birmingham Conservatoire; idyllically warm weather; delicious refreshments provided by the church – we like it when a plan comes together!
We are crossing our fingers that Saturday 7th July 2018 will equal that event, (especially as we were all disappointed at the enforced last minute cancellation of our 2017 Christmas concert due to snow).
The repertoire will comprise a real mix of sacred and secular music, from King Henry VIII to The Beatles:
Pastime with Good Company – King Henry VIII
Weep O Mine Eyes – John Bennett
The Silver Swan – Orlando Gibbons
If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis
Let Thy Merciful Ears – Thomas Mudd
Hide Not Thy Face – Richard Farrant
Five religious pieces by Henry Purcell 1659-1695*
O God, Thou Art My God
Lord, How Long Wilt Thou Be Angry?
Jehova Quam Multi Sunt Hostes Mei
Remember not Lord our offences
Rejoice in the Lord Alway
And 4 further early religious pieces:
Cruxifixus - Antonio Lotti
Beatus Vir - Claudio Monteverdi
Three sacred madrigals by Monteverdi Maria, Maria quid ploras?, Gloria Tua, Cantemus laeti
Lord Let me know mine end - Maurice Greene
* Further information on Purcell:
Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers.
In 1679, Purcell was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey - he devoted himself almost entirely to the composition of sacred music, and for six years severed his connection with the theatre.
Purcell is buried adjacent to the organ in Westminster Abbey. Purcell was universally mourned as "a very great master of music." Following his death, the officials at Westminster honoured him by unanimously voting that he be buried with no expense in the north aisle of the Abbey. His epitaph reads: "Here lyes Henry Purcell Esq., who left this life and is gone to that Blessed Place where only His harmony can be exceeded.
Purcell's setting of "Thou knowest Lord" has been sung at every British state funeral ever since his own funeral.
His influence lives on - in 2009 Pete Townshend of The Who, identified Purcell's harmonies, particularly the use of suspension and resolution, as an influence on the band's music (in songs such as "Won't Get Fooled Again" (1971), "I Can See for Miles" (1967) and the very Purcellian intro to "Pinball Wizard")