Choristry is delighted to bring you On the Threshold of Night, a collection of beautiful choral works by some of Britain’s most celebrated composers.
Spanning some four centuries, our musical sojourn includes the 16th century polyphony of Tallis and Byrd and Benjamin Britten’s extraordinary Hymn to St. Cecilia, as well as the inimitable sounds of contemporary composers such as Jonathan Dove, Tarik O’Regan and James MacMillan.
Join Choristry for a journey through the beautiful music of Italy’s 16th and 17th centuries, a period of stylistic change.
Our programme begins with the grandfather of Italian polyphony, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and visits some of the great composers who ushered in this musical revolution.
From the tortured genius of composer-prince and murderer Carlo Gesualdo, to the gloriously lush work of Antonio Lotti, we will present a selection of repertoire from the real musical movers and shakers of this period, along with lesser-known composers such as Felice Anerio and Antonio Caldara.
This feast of sumptuous singing will haunt you, uplift you, and stir the senses.
Our final concert for the 2014 was Call of the Birds, held on Sunday the 23rd of November at 3pm at St John’s Lutheran Church in Southbank, and featuring guest conductor Dan Walker. This concert incorporated a collection of works celebrating the colours and sounds of the sky.
Featuring works by some of Australia’s finest choral composers, the first half of the program had a strong avian theme: Aria Award winning performer and composer Sally Whitwell’sA Hundred Thousand Birds, a nod to the pastoral English choral tradition of Vaughan Williams and Stamford; Sydney composer David Basden’s richly voiced a cappella work, The Birds; the Australian premiere of Dan Walker’sCall of the Birds; Iain Grandage’s setting of Bush Songs, as well as a clever arrangement of Lennon and McCartney’s timeless classic Blackbird.
Two carols by Australian composer William James signaled the halfway point of the program, and as dusk descended, stars took over as the source of beauty and wonderment in the sky. This bracket featured Ben Van Tienen’s Christmas-themed Just One Star, in an adaptation arranged specifically for Choristry, as well as arrangements of The Beach Boys' God Only Knows and Irish vocal trio The Wailin’ Jennys' The Parting Glass.
Choristry’s December concert celebrates a more secular Christmas theme focusing on the wintry elements that are not always the experience of an Australian audience.
The repertoire is driven by three different settings of Christina Rosetti’s beautiful text In The Bleak Midwinter by Gustav Holst, Harold Darke and Bob Chilcott, and the centrepiece of the concert is John Rutter’s festive but secular choral cycle When Icicles Hang.
Also included are winter themed pieces by Edward Elgar and Finnish composer Harri Wessman as well as a selection of carols both familiar and surprising.
Choristry is excited to welcome guest conductor Mr Simon Bruckard for this special concert event. Most well known for his operas, amongst Verdi’s lesser well known and last compositions are the suite of sacred motets, Four Sacred Pieces (Quattro Pezzi Sacri) first performed together on 7th April 1898.
In concert, Choristry will be performing the four works: Ave Maria, for mixed chorus; Stabat Mater, for mixed chorus and welcoming the Choristry Players on piano and string quartet; Laudi alla Vergine Maria, for female chorus; and Te Deum, for double chorus and the Choristry Players.
Finally Choristry will present Verdi’s Pater Noster, composed in 1880. This a capella motet is based on a religious text, an early version of the Lord’s Prayer, by 14th century Italian poet, Antonio Beccari.
A choral concert featuringA Ceremony of Carols,Hymn to St Cecilia, andHymn to the Virgin.
Conducted by Trevor Jones Harp by Alannah Guthrie-Jones
Benjamin Britten was born on St Cecilia’s Day, 22 November 1913. To mark his 99th birthday and the beginning of the Britten Centenary Year, Choristry is proud to present three of his choral masterpieces.
The Hymn to St Cecilia was composed while at sea in 1942. With a text by W.H. Auden, this a cappella gem celebrates the patron saint of music.
The Hymn to the Virgin combines English and Latin texts celebrating Mary as we move towards the Christmas season.
Finally, one of Britten’s best-loved works, A Ceremony of Carols for choir and harp (in an SATB arrangement by Julius Harrison) features texts in Old English and Latin and will be accompanied by Alannah Guthrie-Jones.