Hymns of Joy and Praise
27th November, 19:30
Thames Philharmonic Choir will return to All Saints' Church, Kingston, for the first time in almost two years to perform works by Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams.
The concert will open with Mendelssohn's setting of the Catholic hymn ‘Lauda Sion’ which has been unjustly neglected in the larger choral cannon over the last 200 years. Written in 1846, the piece is a wonderful example of Mendelssohn's deep understanding of choral textures, his ability to write in a more melodic ‘Italian’ style and his customary rich harmonic palette. It was composed for performance at the Church of St Martin in Liège to mark the 600th Anniversary of Corpus Christi, with the words coming from a hymn on the subject of transubstantiation at the Eucharist by Thomas Aquinas.
Our second Mendelssohn work, 'Hear My Prayer', is one of his smaller scale choral works. Best described as a miniature cantata, it is dedicated to a fellow composer, Wilhelm Taubert, and the text features verses from Psalm 55. The most famous passage is the last section: ‘O for the Wings of a Dove’, often performed as a stand-alone work due to its beautifully simple melodic lines and soothing, lilting quality. It provides an uplifting conclusion to this fine work
We conclude with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ well-loved ‘5 Mystical Songs’, which sets words of the 16th Century metaphysical poet, George Herbert.
The work is a wonderful exploration of human emotion, encapsulating intimate feelings of worry and self-doubt, as well as unbridled joy. Vaughan Williams embellishes the wonderful text with a rich tapestry of sound that is unmistakeably influenced by his interest in both early music and traditional folk song. It ends with ‘Let all the world in every corner sing’, where the choir takes centre stage in a triumphant hymn of praise as the sounds of pealing bells can be heard ringing away in the rather bombastic organ part!
Solo parts will be sung by Thames Philharmonic's recently appointed choral scholars, Alex Bower-Brown (Bass), Will Hester (Tenor), Emily Beech (Soprano) and Maya Colwell (Alto).
Organ accompaniment will be provided by James Orford, who will also perform solo on Kingston's celebrated Frobenius organ.
The concert will be conducted by Music Director, Harry Bradford
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