Catalan Connections

St Barnabas Cathedral, Derby Road, Nottingham

Saturday 13 November 2010 at 8.00 p.m.

In October we travelled to Sabadell, near Barcelona, and sang with Coral Belles Arts, a local choir. We performed in Sabadell, Montserrat, the Abbey at Sant Cugat, and Barcelona itself (in Santa Maria del Mar). The Sabadell Concert was organised by the Federacio Catalana d'Entitats Corals as part of a season featuring a large number of Catalan choirs. Four choirs in all took part in our concert, and we finished up singing folk-song arrangements together: two Catalan and one Scottish. The Coral Belles Arts and their conductor Esteve Costa were excellent hosts, and we learned a great deal about Catalunya and the importance of their choral music tradition. The music developed for this trip formed the basis of the November concert,

Catalan Connections

The programme included

  • John Rutter: Hymn to the Creator of Light
  • Eric Whitacre: Nox Aurumque
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara: Suite de Lorca
  • Francisco Guerrero: Duo Seraphim for 3 choirs

and other works by English, Catalan and Spanish composers

Grahame Whitehead of the Nottingham Evening Post wrote:

SINFONIA Chorale and conductor Richard Roddis recently returned from a concert tour of the Catalan region.

In the resonant acoustics of St Barnabas' Cathedral, they shared the energy and excitement of their visit. The varied programme bridged the gap not just between Barcelona and Nottingham but across a wide expanse of musical history.

This was choral singing at its best. It went beyond technical excellence, however, and the enjoyment and engagement of the singers were unmistakable.

Guerrero's Duo Seraphim, sung antiphonally by three choirs, filled the space with a glorious wave of sound, but there was just as much energy and power in the more traditional Spanish and Catalan pieces or the spiritual Ain-a That Good News.

Some lesser-known compositions were a revelation. John Rutter's Hymn To The Creator Of Light beautifully conveyed a sense of mysteries beyond words, as did, in a very different style, Eric Whitacre's Nox Aurumque.

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