Bath Bach Choir
St Mary's Church, BathwickMENU
This concert presents three composers from the mid-20th and early 21st centuries whose music was shaped by medieval plainchant. Plainchant was the only form of music used by the Christian church until the 9th century, and it remains embedded in the identity of Christian sacred music to this day, creating a beautiful, sonorous architecture that rarely fails to transport its listeners.
The centrepiece of this Plainchant Reimagined programme is Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir (Messe Pour Double Choeur), written in the 1920s. The movements will be interpolated with medieval chant along with exquisite motets by Maurice Duruflé and Eric Whitacre that each reframe plainchant in their own distinctive style – by turns rich, romantic and positively technicolour. On hearing the announcement of this concert, Eric Whitacre himself commented, "In my humble opinion, the Martin Mass is one of the greatest compositions of all time, in any genre.”
The second half of the programme will start with two organ pieces by Franco-Lebanese organist, composer and improviser Naji Hakim (formerly Titulaire of La Trinité, Paris). The first is the boisterous Tantum ergo sacramentum (2002) followed by the more reflective Salve regina (2004).
The programme concludes with Alleluia, written by Whitacre when he was composer-in-residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Singing at its first performance in 2011 was Benedict Collins Rice, then a member of the Sidney Sussex Chapel Choir; and now taking up the baton as the new Music Director & Conductor of Bath Bach Choir.
Ave Maris Stella
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
O viridissima virga (?1160-70)
Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986)
Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens (1960)
Tota Pulchra Es
Tu es Petrus
Naji Hakim (b1950)
Tantum ergo sacramentum (2002)
Salve regina (2004)
Frank Martin (1890-1974)
Messe Pour Double Choeur a cappella (1922-26)
Eric Whitacre (b 1970)