Durban chamber choir to perform in the city

2016-11-02 06:00
PHOTO: supplied The Durban Chamber Choir.

PHOTO: supplied The Durban Chamber Choir.

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THE DURBAN Chamber Choir (DCC) continues its 2016 series of concerts with a programme titled The Great Mystery.

Performed under the baton of DCC’s director, Dr Christopher Cockburn, this event, featuring choral music from the 16th and 21st centuries, will be at the Hayfields Lutheran Church in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, 6 November at 3pm.

“Many of the great choral composers of the 16th century renaissance produced settings of the Latin text O magnum mysterium which have remained among their best-loved works.

“In recent years, the same words have been a source of inspiration for a number of contemporary composers.

“In its forthcoming concerts, the Durban Chamber Choir sings five of the renaissance settings and four of the contemporary settings, providing listeners with a fascinating comparison of different composers’ responses to the same text,” said Cockburn.

“The words are associated with the season of Christmas, and refer to the great mystery that animals should be able to see God lying in a manger. Most of the composers seem to have taken their cue from the word “mysterium” and have created music that is by turns otherworldly and intensely expressive.

“The predominant mood is one of mystical contemplation, and will offer listeners an opportunity to step out of the business of the everyday world into a quieter dimension, but several of the composers also take advantage of the Alleluia that appears at the end of the text to create contrasting sections in a lively and energetic style.”

Cockburn added that the earliest setting is by the Spaniard Cristobal Morales, who lived from 1500 to 1553.

“The most recent setting was composed in 2012 by Norwegian Ola Gjeilo, whose music made a deep impression on many of the audience who heard it at the Chamber Choir’s previous concert in May.

“His setting of O Magnum Mysterium is titled Serenity and adds a solo cello to a rich choral texture that at times divides into as many as 12 different voice parts. The renaissance settings also feature varied arrangements of the voices.”

This is a programme of remarkable music rarely heard in live performance in this country, and in fact some of these pieces will be performed in Pietermaritzburg for the first time.

In addition to the choral items, there will be short interludes of music for solo cello played by Nigel Fish, and music for organ played by conductor, Cockburn.

Tickets are R70 at the door and R40 for students and pensioners, school choir groups may attend for free, by prior arrangement.


- Supplied.

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