The 2018 Concert Season

Grief to Joy: Music for Easter

Saturday 7 April 7:30 pm
Knox Church

SOLOISTS: Claire Barton (mezzo-soprano), Benjamin Madden (tenor), Malcolm Leitch (bass)
DOUGLAS MEWS, organist

Bach: Cantata 66 Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen
Verdi: Stabat Mater
Finzi: Lo, the full, final sacrifice

City Choir is pleased to present music to celebrate the hope and renewal that is the promise of Easter.

Bach’s Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (Rejoice, your hearts) is a cantata composed for the second day of Easter, and first performed in 1724. Bach structured the cantata in six movements, an exuberant choral opening, a set of recitative and aria for bass, another such set for alto and tenor, and a closing chorale taken from the medieval Easter hymn Christ ist erstanden. The music expresses moods of mourning and fear which should be overcome, but especially exhilarating joy. A string ensemble from the DSO will join the organ for this work.

Guiseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater (1896) is a 13th-century Catholic hymn to Mary, which portrays her anguish and suffering as Jesus Christ's mother during his crucifixion. Verdi used his operatic skills to set the drama of Christ’s crucifixion, mirroring the words with the full chorus thundering anger at the crucifixion. The mood changes at the end where the high voices sing an ascending pattern in the sublime closing Paradisi gloria.

Lo, the full, final sacrifice is a festival anthem for choir and organ, composed by Gerald Finzi in 1946. The anthem's text memorializes the celebration of the Eucharist. Regarded as some of Finzi’s finest music, the expressive lines, colourful accompaniment and dramatic choral writing make this a great favourite in the choral repertoire. The first chorus entry has been described as ‘magical’, and the closing eight-part Amen is one of the most remarkable and poignant pieces of choral writing of its period.

Orff: Carmina Burana

Saturday 1 September 7:30 pm
Dunedin Town Hall


This concert is presented by the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Marc Taddei.

Jazz Café

Saturday 6 October 7:30 pm
Dunedin Town Hall

    and FRIENDS

City Choir is letting its hair down with an evening of jazz music from Broadway to Dunedin! We’ll be transforming the Town Hall into a café, complete with two coffee bars, a wine bar and snack bar. There will even be room to dance for those who get moved to do so.

City Choir will perform a selection of jazz standards, as well as Alexander L’Estrange’s quirky Song Cycle: vive la vélorution: songs on the subject of cycling and the great outdoors. It is an exuberant celebration in music both of this most environmentally friendly mode of transport and of the beauty of the countryside. L’Estrange has perfectly captured the euphoria of two-wheel travel for this joyous, uplifting composition which includes an amusing take on the invention of the bicycle, as well as stunning new settings of poetry and arrangements of much-loved songs.

Other Dunedin jazz groups will contribute to the programme. Join us for a relaxed evening of enjoyable jazz - where anything is possible!