Archived Concerts 2006 – 2007

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2006 – 2007


Britten WAR REQUIEM
Saturday 11th November 2006 7:30pm
Royal Concert HallBRITTEN
War Requiem Maureen Brathwaite

Richard Edgar-Wilson

Peter Savidge

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Conductor – Neil Page

SCHOLA CANTORUM

Conductor – John Keys

Written for the opening of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral, the previous one having been destroyed by bombing in the second world war, this monumental work stands as an enduring plea for peace and as a fitting tribute to those who died in both World Wars and in all war.

Benjamin Britten was a committed pacifist. The pity and waste of war was what he intended to portray in this piece. It weaves the words of the Requiem Mass with the famous poems of one of the great World War I poets: Wilfred Owen, who wrote of what he experienced first hand in the trenches. The effect is staggering and thought provoking.

The work calls for massive choral and orchestral forces. Two completely separate groups of performers are required, one large and one much smaller with its own chamber choir. On this occasion the Nottingham Harmonic Choir will be joined by the Schola Cantorum of St Barnabas Cathedral.

‘We will remember them’….

Handel MESSIAH
Saturday 25th November 2006 7:00pm
Royal Concert HallHANDEL
MessiahNicki Kennedy Soprano
David Bates Counter tenor
Daniel Auchincloss Tenor
Nicholas Folwell BassORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Organ continuo – John Keys

Conductor – Neil Page

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

This concert comes at the start of Advent, when we are all finally becoming aware that it really isn’t long until Christmas, even though the shops have been anticipating it for months. Come and have an evening to escape from the bustle and let Handel’s glorious music wash over you and renew you.

Handel’s inspired Messiah, written in only 21 days, also looks forward to Christmas, telling the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, through prophetic, narrative and explanatory extracts from the Bible.

Although Messiah is the work by which most people in the world know Handel, it is almost a misfit in his output. He was not generally a religious composer and was not employed as a church musician, but rather wrote operas and music for royal occasions. His oratorios appear to be simply operas with religious themes, which at the time in England, were not allowed to be staged nor acted. They could
only be performed in a church, not in a theatre.

Handel’s operatic techniques are apparent in Messiah. The choir plays parts ranging from a vituperative mob hurling insults round the Cross to a choir of Angels singing of Jesus’ birth and praising Him in Heaven.

Many of the soloists’ arias are familiar and well-loved, but they make even more impact in the context of the whole work.

If you have never heard the whole of Messiah before, or have only heard versions which are heavily cut and there is no sense of continuity, come and be prepared for a totally different, thrilling, emotional experience!

FAMILY CAROL CONCERTS
Wednesday 20th December 2006 7:00pm
Saturday 23rd December 2006 7:00pm
Royal Concert HallFAMILY CAROL CONCERTSNOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR
Conductor – Neil Page
THORESBY COLLIERY BAND
Conductor – Martin Heartfield
Organ – John Keys
These ever-popular family concerts come in the often frenetically busy, but expectant in-between time after the end of school term just before Christmas. It is a good time to make space to relax and enjoy enthralling Christmas music in a warm, friendly atmosphere.

The Thoresby Colliery Band is one of the most exciting brass bands in Europe, and regularly wins countless accolades for its inspirational playing. Even if you think you don’t like brass
bands, this one will convert you. Over the years they have played pieces ranging from Frosty the Snowman to Rossini’s William Tell Overture ,
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Wagner’s Procession to the Minster.
If you get seats close enough to watch their percussion section, it is an amazing sight and sound.

When not joining forces with the band, or leading the audience in some of the familiar Christmas Carols, the choir provides some quieter interludes with some beautiful, though perhaps less familiar, carol settings.

There is always an opportunity for all the children to come down to the stage to sing carols. Some of them, if they are the first to answer a question, or sing really well, will get the chance to conduct the band or choir.

You are guaranteed to go home from this concert with a warm glow inside and a feeling of the fun of Christmas.

Vivaldi GLORIA / Beethoven MASS IN C
Saturday 24th March 2007 7:30pm
Royal Concert HallVIVALDI
Gloria
BEETHOVEN
Mass in C
BEETHOVEN
Choral FantasiaJohn Keys Piano soloist
Gillian Webster Soprano
Elizabeth Sikora Mezzo Soprano
Andrew Mackenzie-Wicks Tenor
Roderick Earle Bass
ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA
Conductor – Neil Page
NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR
Vivaldi’s Gloria bursts forth with praise and vocal fireworks. Beethoven’s enduring appeal is his mastery of orchestral forces. For him the choral parts become icing on the cake – yet more musical textures with which to experiment.

The Mass in C is an enduring favourite, with the choir and soloists interweaving
in all movements. The Choral Fantasia may be less familiar. It is effectively a
single-movement piano concerto with a choral finale highly reminiscent of the Choral Symphony.

It opens in the style of a climactic, dramatic Piano Sonata, but after a few minutes the orchestra enters giving more of a Concerto feel to the piece. At its climax Beethoven adds a choral part to finish off the whole work with style.

Bernstein CHICHESTER PSALMS / Britten A CEREMONY of CAROLS
Saturday 12th May 2007 7:30pm
Southwell MinsterELGAR
Give unto the Lord
BRITTEN
A Ceremony of Carols
JANACEK
Otce Nas
BERNSTEIN
Chichester Psalms
Conductor – Neil Page
NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR
A warm summer’s evening in the picturesque Southwell Minster will be a tranquil
setting for some of the last century’s more etherial music. Come and enjoy
exploring more of the wide repertoire of rarely heard, but wonderful music.We are delighted that once again our conductor for all concerts this season is
our own inimitable Director of Music, Neil Page.

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