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On the weekend of 1 and 2 June, Colchester Chamber Choir will be presenting two programmes, Magnificat (a full length programme built around Stanford’s great double choir Latin Magnificat) and Faire is the Heaven (a recital length programme) both of sumptuous British and American, twentieth century, unaccompanied choral works, many written in 8-parts or for double choir.
All concerts will include Barber’s justly popular Agnus Dei, a transcription of his famous Adagio for Strings and Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium, a big favourite with audiences, Stanford’s 3 Motets Justorum Animae, Coelos Ascendit Hodie and Beati Quorum Via, two exquisite works by Walton, Drop, drop slow tears and Set me as a seal, and a curiosity by Elgar, They are at rest (written in 1910 for the ninth anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death). All concerts finish with Holst’s spectacular Nunc Dimittis.
One Equal Music, is a programme of British and American unaccompanied works written between 1905 and 1994. Most are written in 8 parts, some for double choir, and they all have one thing in common, a rich and lush texture of multi-part choral writing.
Charles Villiers Stanford’s 3 Motets Justorum Animae, Coelos Ascendit Hodie and Beati Quorum Via start the programme followed by two wonderful works by William Walton, Drop, drop slow tears and Set me as a seal. Samuel Barber’s justly popular Agnus Dei, a transcription of his famous Adagio for Strings, ends the first part of the concert. Morten Lauridsen’s, O Magnum Mysterium, a big favourite with choirs since its composition in 1994, starts the second half of our programme. There then follows a curiosity by Edward Elgar. They are at rest was written for the ninth anniversary of Queen Victoria’s death in 1910, and was first performed at the Frogmore Royal Mausoleum. William Harris’s two great double choir anthems Faire is the Heaven and Bring us, O Lord are favourites with the great Anglican choral foundations and Herbert Howells’ two early and highly original motets Salve Regina and Regina Coeli were written for Westminster Cathedral. The programme ends with Gustav Holst’s wonderful Nunc Dimittis.
I sang many of these great works in my choral days. I am sure you will enjoy them!
Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich
17 November 2012
A Welcome Return for this Choir.
Welcome back in Norwich once again, the 30 members of the Colchester Chamber Choir, under their conductor Roderick Earle, presented a programme of modern French sacred pieces that were artistically satisfying and spiritually moving.
Four motes by Maurice Duruflé were an excellent choice for starting. Modern but echoing traditional Catholic chant, each took just one theme and brought out the meaning of its Latin text.
Unity and concentration also added force to Poulenc’s powerful interpretation of passages suitable for Good Friday.
With Kriss Thomsett adding the organ accompaniment, the sustained line of Fauré’s setting of Jena Racine’s Canticle breathed serenity. So did Vivet’s Pie Jesu and Messiaen’s mediatation on the eucharist.
Hilary Sellers was the clear soprano soloist in Pierre Villette’s Hymn to the Virgin and time and again the basses contributed telling deep notes where required.
Varying tone for the expression of a range of moods, the choir generally sang without straining, with its different sections balanced and blending well.
Only Dupre’s Psalm 117, plainly intended as a rousing finale, seemed too steep a vocal challenge.
Christopher Smith, Eastern Daily Press, November 2012
Colchester Chamber Choir wishes you a very Happy Christmas
and a prosperous New Year.
Thank you for your support and encouragement during
We hope you have enjoyed our season’s concerts and we look forward to
seeing you again at our first concert of 2013, One Equal Music, on the 9th February at St Teresa’s church in Colchester.