Choral concert this weekend

2018-10-17 06:00
The Durban Chamber Choir will be presenting their latest display of choral classics in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, October 28. PHOTO: supplied

The Durban Chamber Choir will be presenting their latest display of choral classics in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, October 28. PHOTO: supplied

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CONCERT goers can enjoy a beguiling selection of music of the night when the Durban Chamber Choir (DCC) presents Nocturne — its latest bouquet of choral classics — in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

The programme features a wide-ranging repertoire conducted by Dr Christopher Cockburn, the choir’s director. The programme will include music by among others, the great German Romantic, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), the iconic British composer, Sir Edward Elgar (1857-1934), and the contemporary Estonian master, Arvo Pärt (born 1935), who since 2010 has been the most performed living composer in the world.

Says Cockburn: “Some of the writers and composers featured in the programme present night as a time of quiet (as in Brahms’ In stiller Nacht), or reflection (Rheinberger’s Abendlied, a prayer at the end of the day), or falling asleep (Elgar’s There is Sweet Music with its remarkable drifting between two different keys to represent an “in-between” state of consciousness). Others think of the night as mysterious, a time of shadows but also of radiant light (as in Samuel Barber’s Sure on this Shining Night or in the most recent piece on the programme, Ballade to the Moon, an atmospheric work with piano accompaniment by the young American composer Daniel Elder.

But the programme is not all quiet and dreamy. Balfour Gardiner’s resplendent setting of the ancient Latin Evening Hymn rises to a fortissimo climax accompanied by the full organ.”

Also included are striking settings of the Evening Canticles: Arvo Pärt’s mesmerizing Magnificat and Christopher Cockburn’s own Song of Mary and Song of Simeon which draw on elements from minimalist, African and impressionist styles.

Cockburn will also play Louis Vierne’s fleeting and slightly sinister organ piece Feux Follets, an evocation of the dancing light that draws night-travellers away from safe paths.

DCC can be heard performing Nocturne at the Lutheran Church in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, October 28.

The programme will reprise at St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Musgrave on Sunday, November 4. Both performances start at 3 pm, and last about an hour. Refreshments will be served after the concerts. Tickets are available at the door from 2 pm, and admission to the venues is from 2.30 pm. Tickets are R70 per person (student/scholar OAP concessions R40).

School groups are admitted free, and group bookings may be made, by prior arrangement. Contact


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