2018 Season Concert Dates:
Thursday December 20th 2018, at 7.30pm –CHRISTMAS CONCERT
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Earlier this year:
Saturday November 17th 2018, at 7.30pm –AUTUMN CONCERT – Rheinberger & Rossini
Saturday April 14th 2018, at 7.30pm – Spring Concert, SACRED SOUNDS including the Durufle Requiem, and music by Bruckner, Mozart, Mendelssohn and others.
Stanmore Choral enjoyed the challenge of Duruflé’s Requiem:
This major work is suffused with its plainchant models, all drawn from the Liber usualis. This book had been published by the monks of Solesmes in 1896 and was known in France as the Paroissien romain, the “Roman Parish Book.” The Solesmes monks had been busy publishing modern versions of medieval chant books such as the Graduale, Antiphonale, and so on. The Liber usualis (“book fit for use”; the “ordinary book”), though, does not have a specific medieval counterpart, but is rather a modern compilation of both texts and plainchant for the most common feasts of the liturgical year, intended for use in secular churches. Secular church—doesn’t that sound like a contradiction in terms? The expression is used to differentiate churches for “normal” people from monastic churches, which are for those who have taken monastic vows.
Also evocative of chant is the free-flowing rhythm throughout (chant was likely performed in equal note values for much of the Middle Ages), captured by constant metrical shifts; see the “Lux aeterna” here. Strangely, our wordless accompaniment for the soprano line here, and for that matter our “ah” singing in the Introit, always remind me of the “Lullaby” in Vaughan Williams’s Hodie. I wonder whether he knew Duruflé’s work? It is certainly one of the choral masterpieces of the twentieth century.
Photo: Maurice Duruflé : Born: 11 Jan. 1902, in Louviers Died: 16 June 1986, in Louveciennes
Saturday July 7th 2018, at 7.30pm –Summer Concert, SUMMER SPIRIT, with “Feel the Spirit” by Rutter, and songs by Chilcott and others.