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Autumn Newsletter 2019

The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

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 LanglaisDuruflé’s Four Motets and also French chansons by FauréDebussy 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 BellocBerlioz 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!

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 28-Sep-19 15:42

Summer Newsletter 2019

The Sinfonia Chorale

Hello to everyone on this summery day!

We have a treat in store for you on Saturday 6th July7.30pm at St Jude’s ChurchMapperleyNG3 5EJ! The wonderfully talented pianist, Konya Kanneh-Mason, will be our guest soloist and we are very excited about this! She holds the Gilling Family Scholarship at The Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Tessa Nicholson. In 2017 she won Nottingham Young Musician and was joint winner of the Carlton MVC Music Makers Award in 2018. She plays solo recitals and also with her siblings (you may have heard of some of them!) and is also a member of the Chineke! Orchestra. On the 6th July, Konya will be delighting us all with pieces (although these may be subject to change…) such as the challenging and lively Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 42 by Chopin, as well as his Nocturne in B major, Op. 32, No. 1. There might also be some movements from Beethoven’s Tempest Sonata… you will definitely have to come along to find out! 

The choir will also be performing a varied programme of music, from The Making of the Drum by Bob Chilcott to Thomas Tomkins’ lively madrigal, See, See the Shepherds’ Queen. There will also be some English romantic partsongs, such as Come Live with Me by William Sterndale Bennett and a delicious Whitacre piece called A Boy and a Girl, which is a setting of a translation of a poem by Octavio Paz.

Chilcott set the evocative, striking poems of Edward Kamau Braithwaite for his colourful creation, celebrating the way in which the spirit of the drum is brought to life, from sacrificing the goat, to cutting the tree and sounding the drum. Complex rhythms, vocal effects and the actual use of percussion instruments are effectively combined to make an exciting, unusual piece.

Tickets are £10 (£5 for students under 21) and are available from Sandra Wakefield 0115 9606236 or from the Sinfonia Chorale website.

It promises to be a lovely evening and we look forward to seeing you!

Thank you so much for your continued support,

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 30-May-19 21:13

Spring Newsletter 2019

The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Friends

It’s hard to believe that our first concert of 2019 is nearly here - and what a lovely event it promises to be!

We are very lucky to be performing with Nicolette Moonen and her talented Baroque Ensemble, which will include trumpets, as well as woodwind and strings.

Nicolette is a renowned Baroque violinist and the artistic director of The Bach Players. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has performed with most of the country’s leading period instrument ensembles. Our March concert will be a wonderful opportunity to hear and experience the rich music of J.S. Bach and Jan Dismas Zelenka expertly played on period instruments. The combined expertise and sensitivity of Richard Roddis and Nicolette Moonen brings the music to life, adding nuance, emotion and depth - all of which promises to make a memorable concert!

Our two main pieces are Bach’s Ascension Oratorio and Zelenka’s Missa Gratias agimus tibiZelenka and Bach did meet and held each other in high esteem. Born in 1679, Zelenka (referred to as Bach’s Catholic counterpart) was a Czech Baroque composer whose instrument was the bass viol (violone). In 1709 he served Baron von Johann Hubert von Hartig and had access to his extensive music library. He then became a player in the royal orchestra at Dresden in 1710 and remained here until his death in 1745. He was a very highly paid, and respected, musician who created beautiful sacred music for the Catholic court church. He occupied the position of Kapellmeister for several years (in an unofficial capacity) following the death of Johann David Heinichen. This position was subsequently given to the composer Johann Adolf Hasse in 1731. Zelenka held the official position of church composer from 1734, a position that J.S. Bach also held from 1736 after composing a mass for the Dresden court which eventually persuaded Augustus III to give him this title. Leipzig and Dresden were both in the Electorate of Saxony at this time.

As far as is known, Zelenka composed 249 works, including over 20 masses, oratorios, requiems, litanies and some purely instrumental pieces. He was very aware of different types of music from around Europe and could effectively compose using many musical styles, such as fugues, operatic arias, dances and folk music. The Missa Gratias agimus tibi (1730) is very enjoyable to perform, full of contrapuntal elaborateness, harmonic surprises and long phrases reflecting a variety of musical and emotional ideas. There is rich variety throughout the piece, ranging from florid, exciting passages to more intense, slower, atmospheric parts.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) is now considered to be one of the greatest and most prolific composers ever, in addition to being a virtuoso organist, keyboard player and talented violinist. In 1723 he became the Thomaskantor at the St Thomas Church (Lutheran) in Leipzig - a position he held until his death. The beautiful Ascension Oratorio (also known as Lobet Gott in Seinen Reichen BMV 11, or Himmelfahrts-Oratorium was probably composed (and definitely performed) in 1735 for the service for Ascension. Chorales, biblical sources and free poetry are used for the text and the structure comprises 11 movements in 2 parts, showing symmetry around a central chorale (written by Johann Rist). It is richly scored for 4 voice parts, trumpets, timpani, oboes, strings, continuo and flauti traversi. Some sections were newly composed and some based on earlier compositions. A festive, joyous and reflective piece, full of musical variety and intensity, it opens with a dancelike chorus and finishes with an impressive chorale fantasia, expressing the longing for the day of union with Jesus in Heaven.

If you would like to hear these lovely works, please join us on Saturday 16th March at Beeston Parish Church, Nottingham, NG9 1GA, at 7.30pm. Ticket details are on our website or please ring Sandra Wakefield on 0115 9606236

We look forward to seeing you!

Best wishes,

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 30-May-19 21:05

Autumn Newsletter 2018

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Friends

Autumn loveliness is upon us and a fresh new singing term has begun! We are working towards our Concert for Peace, with the wonderfully talented Helix Ensemble, which will take place on Saturday 10th November at 7.30pm at St Giles’ Church, West Bridgford, NG2 6AY. This will be an evening of British and European music, celebrating the end of WW1. As part of this concert, we will also be lucky enough to enjoy the dulcet tones of Mike Dewis, baritone, and the excellent harp playing of Heloise Davies.

Gerald Finzi’s Requiem da Camera (1924) will be one of the main pieces of the evening. Using texts by MasefieldHardy and Gibson, this emotive work reflects on a past English bucolic idyll, which so sharply contrasts with the sadness of war and the loss of all the men who had worked those fields.

Finzi’s elegiac style portrays the transient nature of life, through evocative melodies, clashing choral moments, and sudden rhythmic and pitch shifts for emotional impact. Having lost his father, his teacher (Ernest Farrar) and his three brothers during his youth, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Finzi’s music can be so heartfelt in its exploration of difficult themes.

We will also be performing Reconciliation from Ralph Vaughan Williams cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, part of which was written in 1911 and the remainder in 1936. This movement sets to music the poetry of Walt Whitman. The Choir, at points, echoes a baritone soloist, whilst the melodic, sweeping strings add to the emotional texture. This plea for peace leaves us with a striking image of bending over an open coffin to kiss the white face of the ‘enemy’, who, according to the narrator, is ‘a man divine as myself’.

Vaughan Williams and Finzi were friends, and another connection in our programme is that between Finzi and Ivor Gurney, whose piece Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty (1925) we will be performing.

Finzi and his wife, Joyce Black, did not meet Gurney but catalogued and edited all of his works. He studied under Stanford (who also taught Vaughan Williams) but suffered from mental health problems (bipolar disorder) and was also gassed during the war. He spent the last fifteen years of his life in psychiatric hospitals but, despite all of his struggles, he produced hundreds of poems, over three hundred songs and some instrumental music. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ seems particularly relevant here.

The motet which we will perform is for unaccompanied double choir, with words by Robert Bridges. An ambivalent relationship with God is explored - the writer believes in God but questions how anyone can know, or understand, Him. This possibly touched Gurney very deeply, as he struggled in his ‘hours of anguish and darkness’, wrestling with ideas of God, beauty and freedom. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ seems particularly relevant here as the music definitely seems to reflect inner struggles, with its haunting melodies, clashing chords and tonal jumps.

Another treat for tenor, choir and orchestra is the Vieille prière bouddhique, a work by Lili Boulanger (who died in 1918 at the age of twenty-four), composed between 1914 and 1917. The text, a ‘prayer for the whole universe’, is an excerpt from the Buddhist Visuddhimagga, translated into French by Suzanne Karpelès, and takes the form of an Eastern incantation, utilising solemn chanting and humming, flute and tenor solos and ending with a grand, almost operatic flourish. Boulanger weaves voices and orchestra together, using some clever counterpoint, and she creates mysterious, hypnotic effects, with harmonic changes producing exotic tones.

Songs published in 1911 by George Butterworth, setting some texts from A. E. Housman’s collection of poems, A Shropshire Lad (1887), completes our varied programme. Butterworth, who was also good friends with Vaughan Williams, was shot by a sniper in 1916 and this fact enhances the poignancy and tragically prophetic nature of some of the pieces.

These lyrical and emotive songs are not to be missed. The evening is sure to be a moving and memorable one, and it would be lovely to see you all there.

Tickets are available from:

They are priced at £15 (centre), £12 (side aisles) and £5 for students.

We appreciate your support and wish you a happy Autumn!

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 12-Oct-18 12:51

Summer Newsletter 2018

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Warm greetings to you all!

Spring is finally here and, with renewed vigour, the Choir is busy practising some beautiful pieces for the June concerts. What a contrast this is to the extremely cold and snowy evening in March when our last concert took place in St Barnabas Cathedral!

The programme was made up of three devotional pieces of a very contrasting nature. The first item was the performance of four motets by Anton Bruckner, full of rich, sonorous harmonies. This was followed by the wonderful Festival Anthem by Gerald Finzi, Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, which portrays the liturgical drama of the Eucharist.

The Choir gave a particularly moving performance of this piece, as did the three soloists taken from the Choir, Sue JollyMatt Burton and Theo Drabble. Finally, the Choir performed the wonderful Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. Based on the Gregorian Chant themes of the Mass of the Dead, this is Duruflé’s most famous composition and sets a mood of rest and tranquility with its lovely ethereal sonorities.

The Choir was ably accompanied by Michael Overbury on the organ. He also played a magnificent French piece by Messiaen - Apparition de l’Eglise Eternelle. We are very grateful to those of you who braved the elements to attend and we hope to see you at the Summer Concerts. (Thank you to Angela for the concert review) 

Returning to Spring warmth and joining us in June, we have two very talented soloists - both finalists in the 2017 Nottingham Young Musician of the Year.

On Saturday 23rd June, our guest soloist will be Reuben Tendler (French Horn) playing, amongst other pieces, Alan Abbott’s Alla Caccia and Melodie no.1 by Rubinstein

On Saturday 30th June, we will be welcoming the harpist, Bethany Caswell, who will be playing several delightful pieces, including Harpicide at Midnight by Pearl Chertok and Guridi’s Viejo Zortzico. We are all looking forward to hearing these two amazing young performers - book your tickets soon! 

The Choir will also be singing some exciting songs - we have a Stanford selection, including the beautiful Blue Bird but we will also be dipping a toe into the worlds of French Renaissance drinking songs and Swedish folksongs…

Another highlight, especially if you enjoy Eric Whitacre’s compositions, is his work Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, with a libretto bréve by Charles Anthony Silvestri and Italian fragments taken from the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci himself. This challenging, but very rewarding, piece paints a colourful, dynamic picture of Leonardo’s journey towards conquering gravity, whilst ‘tormented by visions of flight and falling’. Numerous voice parts interweave, creating a rich, colourful texture which reaches a dramatic climax in the middle of the piece as Leonardo ‘takes one last breath, and leaps’!

Tickets for both concerts are priced at £8.00 (£5.00 for full-time students under 21) and are available from Sandra Wakefield on 0115 9606236, or from the Sinfonia Chorale website.

We hope to see you in June and thank you so much for your continued support!

Here’s to a music and sun-filled summer!

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 12-Oct-18 12:45

Winter Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Following a wonderful concert in October, (Mozart's Requiem, which some of you may have attended and, hopefully, enjoyed) we are now hard at work preparing for our joyful Christmas Carol Concerts! Please join us at Patchings Farm Arts Centre on Sunday, 10th December at 7.30pm (tickets £8.50) or at St Simon and St Jude’s ChurchRainworthat 7.30pm on Tuesday12th December (tickets £5.00). It would be lovely to see you for some festive fun - audience participation and tasty mince pies are included at no extra cost! Tickets for the Patchings concert are available in advance from Patchings. Tickets for the Rainworth concert are available in advance from Amanda Lees on 0115 9652946 or through PayPal on our website. There is also the option of purchasing tickets on the door for both concerts, but these events do tend to sell out…!

In addition, our hugely popular Come and Sing event will be taking place on Saturday20th January 2018 at St Michael and All Angels ChurchBramcoteNottingham, from 9am until 5pm. We will be singing the much-loved Duruflé Requiem and several Bruckner Motets, directed by the ever-professional and enthusiastic Richard Roddis. It’s a mere £20.00 for the whole day, or £25.00 if you would like a delicious lunch, too! Please see our website for booking forms.

If the Come and Sing inspires you, please come to our performance of the Duruflé Requiem at St Barnabas CathedralDerby RoadNottingham, on SaturdayMarch 3rd2018, at 8.00pm (tickets £12.00). It should be a memorable evening of beautiful music. We look forward to seeing you there and at our other events.

Best wishes from your friends in Sinfonia Chorale, and thank you for your continued support and interest in the Choir.

The Sinfonia Chorale

http://www.sinfoniachorale.uk

 

Created: 16-Nov-17 17:40

Autumn Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the 2017/18 season of Sinfonia Chorale.

We hope that despite the very mixed weather, you have all had a relaxing summer and are now looking forward to an exciting season of concert going.

Having thoroughly enjoyed our 50th Anniversary celebrations, the choir are now preparing for the new season.

Our first concert is on SaturdayOctober 14th at St John’s ChurchMansfield Road, Carrington, at 7.30pm. We shall be performing Mozart’s Requiem along with other choral items. The Requiem will be accompanied by piano duet in a transcription made by the great pianist and piano teacher Carl Czerny.

The pianists will be Gill Bithel and Beate Toyka who will also perform Schubert's Fantasie in F minor.

Tickets are £12 (£5 for students) and will be available from Sandra Wakefield Tel: 0115 9606236, via the website or on the door, subject to availability.

Looking further ahead, our Christmas concert at Patching's Farm Arts CentreCalverton will take place on SundayDecember 10th at 7.30pm. Tickets for this will be available from their website.

The following TuesdayDecember 12th at 7.30pm we shall give a carol concert at the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude, Rainworth.

As usual, we start the New Year with our annual Come and Sing event. This will be held at Bramcote Parish ChurchNG9 3HD on SaturdayJanuary 20th. The main work for study will be the Duruflé Requiem.

As usual, this work will form the centrepiece of our Spring Concert, along with pieces by Bruckner and Finzi, which will be held on SaturdayMarch 3rd at St. Barnabas CathedralDerby RoadNottingham at 8.00pm.

We hope that you will find this an interesting programme for the season and we look forward to your continued support.

The Sinfonia Chorale

http://www.sinfoniachorale.uk

 

Created: 16-Nov-17 17:40

Summer Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Well, the end of our 50th Anniversary year is rapidly approaching, but what a fabulous year it has been!

Starting in November, we performed Richard Roddis’s own composition Lauda Creatoris. What an exciting work this proved to be! This was followed by our two Annual Christmas events in December at Patchings Art Centre and West Bridgford Methodist Church. In January we held an extremely well-supported Come and Sing/Play workshop when we studied Bach’s magnificent B Minor Mass.

The performance of this monumental work in Southwell Minster in March was the highlight of our year.

Under Richard’s excellent direction and supported by the Baroque Ensemble, led by Nicolette Moonen, the choir gave one of its most memorable performances. We all felt that it had been a privilege to be a part of such an event and judging from the many comments and tweets from the audience, they too felt it had been a very special occasion.

So now we reach our Summer events which bring our anniversary year to a close.

Sing Joyfully is the title of our concert on June 17th, at St Jude’s Church Woodborough Road, Mapperley, NG3 5HE at 7.30pm.

This will be a re-union event and we shall welcome back some of our former members. The programme will include some of the choir’s favourite pieces, both sacred and secular.

There will be English madrigals, including the Silver Swan and Hark, all ye lovely Saints above, Tudor Anthems Sing Joyfully and If ye love Me, European Sacred music Locus Iste and Crucifixus. From the twentieth century repertoire we have part of the G Minor Mass by Vaughan WilliamsThe Hymn to St. Cecelia by Benjamin Britten as well as pieces by Eric Whitacre, and arrangements by Richard Roddis – an altogether eclectic mix!

Tickets are £10 (£5 for students) and are available from Sandra Wakefield, Tel: 0115 960 6236, the Sinfonia Chorale website or at the door.

On the following day, Sunday June 18th we are performing for Waterworks – a charity providing clean water and hygienic sanitation systems in Malawi. This concert will be an hour long and will take place in Oxton Village Hall at 2pm. Admission is free but there will be a retiring collection.

As this season ends we are, of course planning the next. Our first concert of the 2017/18 season is at St John’s Church, Carrington on Saturday October 14th at 7.30pm. This will be a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in the Czerny piano arrangement for Piano Duet. Tickets are £12 (£5 for full time students) and will be available from the usual outlets.

As always, we are extremely grateful for your continued support and we hope you have enjoyed celebrating our 50th Anniversary with us.

We look forward to seeing you at our future concerts.

The Sinfonia Chorale

http://www.sinfoniachorale.uk

 

Created: 16-Nov-17 17:39

Spring Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Preparations are fully underway for Sinfonia Chorale’s forthcoming 50th Anniversary Concert on Saturday 11th March at 7.30pm in Southwell Minster NG25 0HD. This performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor promises to be one of the highlights in the musical calendar for 2017. It is a monumental composition which never fails to inspire the listener.

We have a magnificent line-up of soloists along with the Baroque Ensemble (Leader Nicolette Moonen). As usual, the Conductor will be Richard Roddis.

Tickets priced at £15£12 and £10 (restricted view) available from:-

  • Sandra Wakefield Tel: 0115 9606236
  • The Cathedral Shop ,Southwell Tel: 01636 812933
  • Sinfonia Chorale website
  • Sinfonia Chorale Choir Members

Tickets for full time students U21 are £5.00

As usual, we look forward to seeing you there.

Sinfonia Chorale 

http://www.sinfoniachorale.uk

 

Created: 16-Nov-17 17:38
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