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St James's Church, Sussex Gardens

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
07:30 pm

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
07:30 pm

Requiem - Duruflé
Chichester Psalms - Bernstein
Cantique de Jean Racine - Fauré

with organ, cello, harp and percussion
Ivor Setterfield


Two contrasting choral masterpieces of the twentieth century form the core of Barts’ Spring concert.

Duruflé’s 1947 Requiem is based on the Gregorgian plainchant themes of the requiem mass, around which the composer – himself a superb organist – wove a complex web of counterpoint and ornament which are contemplative, lyrical and dramatic in turns.

Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms unusually set sections of the psalms in their original Hebrew, and was written for performance in Chichester Cathedral in 1965 though could hardly be further from traditional Anglican psalmody. Its 15 minutes encapsulate the many facets of this composer’s musical personality – ranging between modernist dissonance and aching lyricism, with his trademark jazzy rhythms and catchy melodies: some of the themes were intended originally for numbers in for Broadway musicals! The choir open with Fauré’s choral gem, the Cantique de Jean Racine.

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