Spring is coming, the sun is shining and we are eagerly preparing for our March concert!
Perhaps some of you attended the Come and Sing day in January – according to feedback a good time was had by all, with people really appreciating the opportunity to sing again after such a long time. We are so glad that people felt safe and enjoyed themselves.
We also hope that many of you will be able to join us on March 19th, 7.30pm at St Martin’s Church, Sherwood (tickets £15, including refreshments) for the Stabat Mater concert.
Our talented accompanist, Michael Overbury, will also be treating us to some wonderful organ music, so please put the date in your diary and visit our website for more details!
The Stabat Mater is a sacred Catholic text, originating in the 13th century, which portrays the suffering of the Virgin Mother on witnessing the crucifixion of her son, Jesus Christ. The physical and emotional anguish lends itself to being expressed musically and there have been numerous settings of this text by many composers.
Born in 1710, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (family name Draghi) composed his Stabat Mater just before he died of tuberculosis in 1736. Despite a short life, he was an important early composer of opera buffa (comic opera) and worked for aristocratic patrons such as the Duke of Maddaloni. As well as operatic works, he wrote secular instrumental pieces and other sacred music. This beautiful, intensely moving Stabat Mater was composed for soprano, alto, string orchestra and basso continuo but we will be performing an arrangement for SATB chorus by Desmond Ratcliffe.
Antonio Caldara was born in Italy around 1670 and died in Vienna in 1736, where he had been Vize-Kapellmeister to the Imperial Court since 1716. As a boy, he was a chorister at St Mark’s Cathedral in Venice and had also studied cello, keyboard and the viol. Caldara was a prolific and popular composer, exhibiting great mastery over a wide variety of styles, including opera, chamber and sacred. His Stabat Mater (composed ca. 1725) is a dignified work, allowing for great emotional expression from the performers.
Our final choice of Stabat Mater is one composed around 1890 by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839 – 1901). He was born in Liechtenstein but resided in Germany for most of his life. During a successful career of over 45 years, he published nearly 200 compositions, as well as being a professor of counterpoint and organ. In his earlier years he had been a virtuoso pianist and organist, until a disease affected his right hand, putting an end to his performing. This is the shortest version of the Stabat Mater in our programme, divided into 4 sections and described as having a ‘popular-traditional quality, using some baroque rhythms and ending in a quiet fugue’ (www.stabatmater.info).
These pieces are a delight to sing and aptly demonstrate the very different possible interpretations of one text. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful music too and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Best wishes to you all,