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Songs of Farewell
Sat 4 November at 7:30 pm until 8:30 pm
Fauré, Ireland & Parry
To mark this year’s remembrance season, the choir turns to works by composers wishing to reflect the sorrow of loss against the background of World War I, offering comfort and consolation together with the uplifting hope of peace in eternal rest.
Contemplative motets by the great English composer of the early twentieth century, Hubert Parry, will be interspersed with organ pieces and songs for baritone by Richard Allain, Ivor Gurney, Edward Elgar, John Ireland and Vaughan Williams. The music will be by turns tenderly intimate and delicate, as befits the solemnity of the season, and thrillingly bombastic, ideally matched to the exciting space of Bath Abbey. The choir will show off its musical dexterity, singing a cappella in the first half of the evening as the Musical Director once again presents the Parry work which sealed his decision to take up choral conducting.
The performance of Gabriel Fauré’s ever-popular Requiem will mark in advance the centenary of the French composer’s death in 1924. Much of its popularity can be ascribed to its many beautiful melodies; it is unusually gentle and moving. There is contrast between darkness and light but as the movements succeed each other, the audience feels Fauré’s optimistic and positive words play out: “… it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience.”
The concert will conclude with Ireland’s Greater Love, bringing to a close a life-altering tableau of music exploring a variety of inspirational poetry and religious texts as well as fresh, often innovative, musical styles.
For this poignant concert, Bath Bach Choir is honoured to be joined once again by local bass-baritone Frederick Long who is much acclaimed at home and abroad. He will perform some captivating solo songs from his repertoire as well as taking the solo bass part in the Fauré Requiem. A Bath Abbey chorister will join the choir to sing the ‘Pie Jesu’ in the Fauré Requiem. To accompany the choir and perform thrilling solo works, their long-standing organist Marcus Sealy will showcase the Abbey’s magnificent Klais organ.
“In my opinion not many choirs have the size and power of Bath Bach Choir, able to make great works like Fauré’s Requiem come alive and fizz with drama.” Benedict Collins Rice, Musical Director
Hubert Parry Songs of Farewell
Gabriel Fauré Requiem
John Ireland Greater Love
Frederick Long bass
Chorister from Bath Abbey Choir treble
Marcus Sealy organ and piano
BENEDICT COLLINS RICE CONDUCTOR