Future Concerts with the Chandos Singers
Saturday 9th December at 6.30 in the Magdalen Chapel, Holloway, Bath
The Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saëns
Three Biblical Scenes by Heinrich Schütz
The main piece to be performed by The Chandos Singers’ Christmas concert, on 9th December, is the Christmas Oratorio by Saint-Saëns (1835-1921). The concert also includes the Three Biblical Scenes by Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) and works by the composers with whom he interacted: Giovanni Gabrieli, Samuel Scheidt and Claudio Monteverdi.
In 1857 Saint-Saëns became organist at the Madeleine in Paris.
In the following November the church authorities complained that although his improvisations on plainsong themes during the services were “spectacular”, he was not fulfilling their expectations with regard to other church compositions. He set about composing the Oratorio de Noël, which he completed in a week, just in time for its first performance on Christmas Day 1858. The work was purposely traditional in design, and was an instant success. The opening Prelude, much like the pastoral movement from Handel’s Messiah, provides much of the music for the movements near the end of the work. The airs are more like rococo arias.
The main soloists in Chandos’ performance will include Katharine Adams, Katherine Lush and Paul Feldwick, accompanied by David Knowles.
Heinrich Schütz was born in 1585, exactly 100 years before Bach and Handel.
He was one of the most widely travelled composers of his time in Europe, firstly for extended tuition, and later to keep north of the fighting during the Thirty Years’ War. Wherever he went, he made lasting friendships with local composers, while also providing his own purpose-written works for local performance. Schütz’s Three Biblical Scenes includes much reference to Christmas; the style of Gabrieli’s 8-voice Jubilate can be heard in its jubilant sections. Schütz’s boyhood friend, Michael Praetorius, wrote a setting of Psallite which a later friend, Samuel Scheidt, expanded in his Christmas Magnificat – a work which alternates plainsong and choral settings of the canticle’s text with extended settings of Christmas-related words.
This concert is on Saturday 9th December 2017 at 6.30, at the Magdalen Chapel, Holloway, Bath. The 6.30 start is to counteract the winter and does not signify an extra-long concert.
Tickets (£12.00, full-time students £5.00) may be purchased from members of Chandos, on the door or from Bath Box Office.
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Saturday 17th March 2018 at 7.30: Concert at Magdalen Chapel
This concert will include the Psalms of 1618 by Sweelinck (1562-1621).
In 1618, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck grouped his polyphonic Psalm settings for publication. He then added an ad lib. continuo part to all of his Cantiones Sacrae and sent the new compilation to be published in Amsterdam – the volume appeared in 1619.
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Saturday 7th July 2018 at 7.30: Concert at Magdalen Chapel