Bury Bach Choir:
Bach: Magnificat in E-flat major (BWV 243a)
Martines: Dixit Dominus (Psalm 110)
Martines: Laudate Pueri Dominum (Psalm 112)
Corelli: Christmas Concerto (Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8)
JS Bach wrote his Magnificat in 1723 during the first months of his appointment as Director of Music at Leipzig, ready for the Christmas Vespers. Being new to the job he wanted to show off his immense musical abilities, and in the Magnificat he did just that. Today - as the climax of our concert - we perform it exactly 300 years later, complete with Bach's original Christmas additions, as a festive and fitting tribute to him and his enduring genius.
The work, though just thirty minutes in length, is conceived on a truly grand scale, requiring five soloists, a five-part choir and, for its time, an unusually large orchestra including trumpets and timpani as well as flutes, oboes, strings and continuo. As the choir and soloists together present the story of the Virgin Mary as told in the Gospel of St Luke, concluding with the Gloria, the beautiful and seductive momentum of the piece keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. The work radiates splendour and jubilation from the very first note and moves eloquently through each section of the text before reaching its exuberant and dramatic conclusion. This is truly feel-good classical music.
To start the concert, The Geldart Ensemble will perform Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Concerto, which he wrote to be performed on the night of Christmas. It was published in 1714 but was probably first performed years earlier in 1690. There are six short movements.
The next part of the concert is devoted to the music of Marianna Martines. Born in Vienna in 1744, she showed great musical gifts from an early age. As a girl she was taught keyboard by Haydn (who lived upstairs!) and went on to develop exceptional abilities as a keyboard player, composer and singer, and also as a linguist and singing teacher. She was very active in the musical life of Vienna and was a trailblazer for female musicians in many ways, including founding a singing school for young women. Her fame and her music spread far, and she was acknowledged internationally as one of the greatest composers of her time.
Today we're excited to be performing two of her works, Dixit Dominus, a beautiful and complex work which has been described as her masterpiece and, after the interval, Laudate Pueri Dominum. Both works are intricately woven and rich in texture and variety, and we're delighted to be bringing them to Bury St Edmunds, for the first time ever. Do come!
Hilary Cronin soprano
Valerie Reid alto
Nick Pritchard tenor
Ben Noble baritone
The Geldart Ensemble
Bury Bach Choir
Benedict Collins Rice conductor
Apex Friends Priority Booking opens 1 September 2023
General Booking opens 4 September 2023
Early booking discount: £1 off all full price tickets booked by 30 September 2023
Tickets: £25, £20, £15 (all seats reserved) plus £2 booking fee. Under 30’s go half price.
Venue: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
This event is promoted by Bury Bach Choir
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