Archived Concerts 2007 – 2008

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2007 – 2008


Jenkins A MASS FOR PEACE / Rachmaninov THE BELLS
Saturday 10th November 2007 7:30pm
Royal Concert Hall

KARL JENKINS
The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
RACHMANINOV
The Bells

Elena Ferrari Soprano
Tyrone Landau Tenor
Gavin Carr Baritone

ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

Conductor – Murray Stewart

Karl Jenkins unmistakable blend of western classical and worldwide ethnic music has led to his music becoming
justifiably popular.
It is frequently used in films and advertisements as well as on the concert platform. The Armed Man:
A Mass for Peace
is a powerful and poignant portrayal of the causes and consequences of war. It was
commissioned by the British Armories and is dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo conflict. Using the
basis of a Requiem Mass he also set both secular and sacred texts, inspired by a 15th-century French
poem L’Homme Arme.

Rachmaninov’s The Bells is less well known. Written early in Rachmaninov’s career it was his own
favourite work. It was inspired by a poem of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. Rachmaninov, wrote this as
a choral symphony, each movement following a different verse of the poem and following a different aspect
of human experience and emotion, as indicated by the use of different bells: Sleigh Bells, Wedding Bells,
Alarm Bells and Funeral Bells.

This is wonderfully Russian, emotional music, written well before the revolution, when Russia was still
enthralled by the Ballet, Opera and the music of Tchaikovsky, who was inevitably one of the great influences
on Rachmaninov’s work.

Handel MESSIAH
Saturday 1st December 2007 7:00pm
Royal Concert Hall

HANDEL
Messiah

Charlotte Ellett Soprano
Anna Wall Mezzo soprano
Philip Sheffield Tenor
Andrew Slater Bass

ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Conductor – Murray Stewart

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. At
the time they were written in England, they 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 19th December 2007 7:00pm
Saturday 22nd December 2007 7:00pm
Royal Concert Hall

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

Conductor – Murray Stewart

THORESBY COLLIERY BAND

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.

Bach ST JOHN PASSION
Saturday 15th March 2008 7:30pm
Royal Concert Hall

BACH
St John Passion

Quentin Hayes Christus
Philip Salmon Evangelist
Nicki Kennedy Soprano
Katherine Allen Mezzo soprano
Daniel Auchincloss Tenor
Christopher Foster Baritone

ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Conductor – Murray Stewart

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

Bach wrote his Passion settings for use in the Good Friday services and meditations. As a Lutheran, he was trying
to get the ordinary people to understand, in their own language, something of the drama and significance of the
events they were celebrating.

The use of thier local language in services, rather than Latin, was something that had been fought over in
Germany and was still regarded as a treasured right.
The music was thus written, not for operatic show, but to support and dramatise the accounts of the
Last Supper and Good Friday, and to give space for contemplation. The music is still as vibrant and
powerful now as it was when it was first written.

The St John Passion was written a few years before the St Matthew Passion, and was the first
Passion which Bach wrote at St Thomas Leipzig. He modified it a couple of times on subsequent Good Fridays,
but the final version, performed some time in the 1740s was very close to the original in its form.

Southwell 2008 – Britten ST NICOLAS
Saturday 31th May 2008 7:30pm
Southwell Minster

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Seranade to Music

ELGAR Seranade for Strings

FINZI In Terra Pax

BRITTEN St. Nicolas

Colette Boushell Soprano
Angelica Voje Mezzo soprano
Christopher Steele Tenor
Vojtech Safarik Bass

Conductor – Murray Stewart

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

Choristers from Southwell Minster
Trinity School Choir

The picturesque Southwell Minster will be a beautiful setting for some fascinating pieces of English music.

Elgar’s Serenade for Strings was one of the first pieces he published.

Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music was written for eight specific soloists to sing, in a concert given
as a tribute to Henry Wood, at the fiftieth anniversary of his first concert.

Finzi’s In Terra Pax is usually associated with Christmas, but the sublime surroundings of
Southwell Minster will be an ideal setting for this beautiful work.

Britten’s dramatic St Nicolas was written for yet another celebration – the centenary of Lancing
College in Sussex. Britten was fascinated by the variety of scale patterns used in folk music from different
places. In St Nicolas he gives the various sections, which follow the different stages of St Nicolas’
life, distinct moods by basing the themes on different scale patterns.

Colette Boushell, Angelica Voje and Vojtech Safarik are all supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.

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