Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lullabies on Saturday 2 September


Lullabies

Saturday 2 September 7:30 pm
Knox Church


DAVID BURCHELL, conductor
CITY CHOIR DUNEDIN
COLUMBA COLLEGE & ST HILDA'S CHOIRS
SOLOISTS: Sophie Morris (soprano), Claire Barton (mezzo-soprano), Alex Lee (baritone)
ORGANIST: Thomas Chatterton

Anthony Ritchie: Lullabies
Gabriel Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine 
John Tavener: Song for Athene
Duruflé: Requiem

“Anthony Ritchie... one of the greatest composers of his time.”

City Choir is pleased to present Anthony Ritchie’s Lullabies, composed in 2015 for soprano, adult and children’s choirs. It is a cycle of six songs to poems by Dunedin-based poet Elena Poletti. 

Lullabies are common to all cultures, and are richly varied in their themes and moods. These six lullabies traverse different perspectives, both from the adult and from the child. In some the parent calms the child for sleep by conjuring up various gentle images, while in others it is the children singing the songs to put them in the sleep frame of mind. All the forces come together in the last song, to round off the cycle.

“Anthony’s music is engaging – energetic, beautifully crafted and imbued with a distinct melodic touch.”

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, first performed in 1947 at the end of World War II, was dedicated to the memory of his father. Duruflé’s Requiem is calmer and more meditative than some other settings of the requiem. The beautiful Pie Jesu movement has the only solo for the mezzo-soprano.

Duruflé was incredibly self-effacing, and spent considerable time re-working his compositions until they achieved what he felt was the correct level of perfection. In this work he took the Gregorian plainchant Mass for the Dead as his raw material, clothing the sometimes archaic-sounding melodies in the sophisticated harmonies of the early modern school. Duruflé’s sensuous harmonies suffuse every note with feeling. Duruflé explains: “This Requiem is not an ethereal work which sings of detachment from human concerns. It reflects, in the unchanging form of Christian prayer, the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end.”

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