Autumn is fast approaching and that means one thing - another amazing Sinfonia Chorale concert! Save the date - Saturday November 9th, 7.30pm, at St Martin’s Church, Sherwood, NG5 3FU.
You can look forward to a wonderful selection of French choral music, including the Messe Solennelle by Langlais, Duruflé’s Four Motets and also French chansons by Fauré, Debussy and Saint-Saëns. In addition, you will have the great opportunity to hear organ pieces by Tournemire and Messiaen, expertly played by the renowned Michael Overbury.
Interestingly, Jean Langlais (1907-1991) studied improvisation with Charles Tournemire (around 1930) and later, in 1945, he became the successor to Cesar Franck and Tournemire at the organ tribune of Saint-Clotilde in Paris, only leaving the position in 1987.
Being blind from the age of 2, Langlais attended the Paris National Institute for the Young Blind (where he later worked as a professor for 40 years) and then he went on to the Paris National Conservatory of Music. He was a prolific composer of organ, vocal and instrumental music, and gave hundreds of recitals. The Messe Solennelle is a powerful, complex piece, combining thundering, and also intricate, organ passages with striking, colourful vocal sections, sometimes dissonant, sometimes very melodic.
In contrast, Maurice Duruflé’s (1902-1986) Four Sacred Motets (1960), based on Gregorian themes, are for unaccompanied voices and set Latin texts for different liturgical occasions. These beautiful motets have been described as ‘rich in subtle harmonies, well-written for voices, and reminiscent of impressionism’. They evoke a quiet, spiritual feeling, inspiring contemplation. Duruflé also had organ lessons with Tournemire.
We will also be performing one of the three movements from Tristia (Opus 18) by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869). The individual movements were published together as a whole in 1852, but were never performed during Berlioz’s lifetime. Meditation Religieuse (1831), the movement which we will present, is a setting of an English poem by Thomas Moore, translated into French by Louise Belloc. Berlioz uses contrasting dynamics and sustained harmonies to reflect a picture of the world as a ‘fleeting show’, with Heaven being the only true thing.
We hope that this has whetted your appetite for some delightful French music. It would be wonderful to see you on November 9th
Please visit our website to purchase tickets (£10), or call Sandra Wakefield on 0115 960 6236.
Best wishes to you all!