Bringing top quality classical concerts to the Abbey since 1971

Bath Bach Choir concert

There has been a change in the programme for the concert on November 11th. The Taverner piece Svyati has been replaced by ‘Close now thine eyes and rest secure‘ the first movement of Howard Goodall’s Requiem: Eternal Light.

The whole programme reflects our thoughts on the eve of Remembrance Sunday.

Starting at the west end the choir will sing a brief but intense setting of ‘Cordero de Dios‘ (O Lamb of God) from Paco Pena’s Missa Flamenca. The choir then processes eastwards while singing ‘The Beatitudes‘ by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt – each verse moves chromatically upwards with an organ pedal note sustaining throughout until the end when the organ explodes into a brief toccata like episode as the angels ascend into heaven.

Once in place on the chancel steps the choir performs the main work of the concert – Pizzetti’s ‘Messa di Requiem‘. With five a cappella movements, and lasting about 30’, it is an outstanding early 20th century work – strongly theatrical and passionate but with clear Palestrina influences.

After the interval comes the Howard Goodall movement, which is followed by Tavener’s familiar and much loved ‘Song for Athene‘, as sung at Princess Diana’s funeral, and ‘In Remembrance‘, an engagingly beautiful motet with its moving text ‘Do not stand at my grave and weep’ by the Canadian composer Eleanor Daley.

Finally to end on a positive note, Eric Whitacre’s ‘Cloudburst‘, with piano and some percussion, is a celebration of rebirth and renewal – the audience will be required to help create the sound of a rain storm!

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