Archived Concerts 2015 – 2016

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2015 – 2016


C. P. E. Bach MAGNIFICAT & Haydn NELSON MASS
Saturday 7th November 2015 7.30pm
Albert Hall, Nottingham

C. P. E. BACH
Magnificat

HAYDN
Nelson Mass

J. S. BACH
Orchestral Suite No.3

Katie Trethewey – soprano
Cathy Bell – mezzo soprano
Nathan Vale – tenor
Angus McPhee – baritone

BACH CAMERATA ORCHESTRA
David Le Page – leader

Richard Laing – conductor

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

C. P. E. Bach’s setting of the Magnificat is an extended and celebratory setting of the words, possibly written to support his application for a post in one of the royal courts, or possibly in Leipzig – thus C. P. E. Bach at his best.

The Nelson Mass, written late in Haydn’s life, is considered to be one of the finest examples of Haydn’s liturgical compositions. Haydn wrote this Mass when his world was in turmoil politically as Napoleon was inexorably expanding his military influence throughout Europe, and had won four major battles with Austria in the previous year. The work’s original title was thus “Missa in Angustiis” or “Mass in Troubled Times“. However, almost coincident with its first performance, news arrived of Nelson’s victory over Napoleon at the Battle of the Nile, a final set-back for Napoleon and a cause of great celebration in Austria. Later when Nelson visited the Esterhazy court with Lady Hamilton, the mass was performed in their presence – hence the enduring generally accepted label the Nelson Mass.

J.S. Bach wrote at least four Orchestral Suites which he himself called Ouvertures. The name ‘ouverture’ really applied only to the opening movement of each suite as it was similar in style to the French ‘ouverture’ of that time, with a slow dotted-rhythm opening, a fast fugal central section followed by a recapitulation of the opening theme in triple time. In the baroque period in Germany the term ‘ouverture’ tended to refer to a suite of dance pieces in French Baroque style, preceded by such an ouverture.

Handel MESSIAH
Saturday 5th December 2015 7:00pm
Royal Concert Hall

HANDEL
Messiah

Mary Nelson – soprano
Russell Harcourt – counter tenor
Christopher Turner – tenor
Aidan Smith – bass

ORCHESTRA DA CAMERA

Richard Laing – conductor

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

Start your Christmas season with an evening of inspirational music.

Handel’s magnificent oratorio Messiah tells the story of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection, through many narrative and explanatory extracts from the Bible. This dramatic work features several of the greatest arias and choruses ever written.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.

FAMILY CAROL CONCERTS
Saturday 19th December 2015 6:00pm
Monday 21st December 2015 7:00pm
Royal Concert Hall

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

John Morehen – organ

Richard Laing – conductor

THORESBY COLLIERY BAND

Bring the whole family to enjoy Christmas music at these ever-popular, child-friendly concerts.

The choir and band lead the audience in well-loved Christmas carols, while the choir provides more peaceful interludes with celestial carol settings and the Thoresby Colliery Band adds sparkle in its solo items.

The Thoresby Colliery Band is one of the most exciting brass bands in Europe, and regularly wins 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.

Come & Sing 2016 – GLORIA & JUBILATE DEO
Saturday 20th February 2016 9:30am – 5:30pm
Nottingham Girls’ High School

VIVALDI
Gloria

JOHN RUTTER
Gloria

GABRIELI
Jubilate Deo

Richard Laing – conductor
Simon Hogan – piano

Schedule:
9:30-10:00 Registration
10:00-12:30 Welcome & rehearsal
12:30-13:30 Lunch (all brought their own)
13:30-16:00 Rehearsal
16:30-17:30 Performance

About 120 singers assembled once again, some from Nottingham Harmonic Choir but also many friends and lovers of singing from a wide geographic area gathered to rehearse and ultimately, to perform these three glorious choral pieces in a range of contrasting styles.

The wonderfully sunny nature of the Vivaldi Gloria, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, is characteristic of all of his music and has an immediate and universal appeal.

Giovanni Gabrieli’s stunning 8-part Jubilate Deo represents the pinnacle of Venetian music with its use of expansive declamations and antiphonal effects – a joy to sing!

John Rutter has established himself as one of our leading exponents of contemporary choral music with the Gloria being one of his most ambitious works. Each of its three movements is in a different style, ‘exalted, devotional and jubilant by turn’ in the composer’s own words. Typical of Rutter’s works the whole piece is alive with rhythm, tunefulness and vitality.

CARMINA BURANA with BBC Symphony Orchestra
Saturday 12th March 2016 7:30pm
Royal Concert Hall

CARL ORFF
Carmina Burana

JACQUES IBERT
Bacchanale

PAUL HINDEMITH
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Weber

Sarah Tynan – soprano
Sam Boden – tenor
Marcus Farnsworth – baritone

BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Gergely Madaras – conductor

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR
Richard Laing – chorus master

Choristers of Southwell Minster
Paul Hale – rector chori

Review: Nottingham Post Sunday 13 March 2016 by William Ruff

When Saturday’s BBC Symphony Orchestra/Nottingham Harmonic concert is eventually broadcast on Radio 3, listeners should stand well back from their radios. If the engineers truly capture the experience in the Royal Concert Hall, the effect could well be explosive. Faced with a forest of microphones, a choir could well be intimidated. But not the Harmonic. Orff’s Carmina Burana may not be the world’s most complex music, but it needs scrupulous attention to fine detail if it is to avoid sounding repetitive or superficial.

The freshness which the Choir (together with the Choristers of Southwell Minster) brought to their roles made a concert warhorse seem like a frisky young colt. The singing was vividly characterful, irresistibly energetic and had the impact of a sonic tsunami. And more than anything the performance featured the best choral diction I have ever heard. The soloists were splendid too. Tenor Samuel Boden played the comically poignant role of the strangled, roasted swan to perfection. Soprano Sarah Tynan was lyrically tender, unfazed by her stratospherically high notes. Baritone Marcus Farnsworth brought operatic relish to his multi-faceted part, equally convincing either celebrating the joys of spring or being an outrageously drunk cleric.

The Choir’s own soprano quartet in ‘Chramer, gip die varwe mir’ also rose magnificently to the occasion, as did the semi-chorus in ‘Veris leta facies’. Conductor Gergely Madaras handled the vast choral and orchestral forces with great panache, digging out fine detail from Orff’s score and adding some of his own (such as the raucously entertaining crowd noises in ‘In Taberna’). He also brought energy and insight to the first half programme: Ibert’s sensuously dynamic Bacchanale and Hindemith’s technicolor orchestral showpiece Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Weber. The BBC Symphony Orchestra, percussion well to the fore, was on sparkling robust form throughout.

The recording from this performance, was broadcast on Radio 3 at 2pm on Monday 4th April 2016.

INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC
Saturday 14th May 2016 7:30pm
Southwell Minster

MAURICE DURUFLE
Requiem

ZOLTAN KODALY
Missa Brevis

MICHAEL TIPPETT
Five Spirituals from A Child of Our Time

Simon Hogan – organ
Richard Laing – conductor

NOTTINGHAM HARMONIC CHOIR

DuruflĂ©’s ethereal Requiem is deservedly an enduringly popular work. It is a Requiem which seems to look heaven-wards with hope rather than trying to fill the living with the fear of hell. This is a much more positive emotion for those left behind.

Kodaly’s Missa Brevis was first performed in the Budapest Opera House cloakrooms, during the siege of Budapest in 1944/45! At the time Kodaly, along with most of the civilian population of Budapest, had taken refuge in cellars and basements of the city in an attempt to survive the 24-hours-a-day bombing raids. It was in this environment that Kodaly wrote his Missa Brevis,, some parts were adapted from his earlier organ-mass, written in 1942.

In Tippett’s A Child of Our TIme, the spirituals perform a similar role of relief and a time for contemplation amid the agonising action, that the Chorales perform in the Passions of Bach. Although most of the music in A Child of Our TIme is full of the angst and conflict, the four spirituals are beautiful contemplative settings which stand as complete works in their own right.

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