New season for Angmering Chorale

George Jones

Angmering Chorale is promising plenty of delights ahead as it launches into its new concert season.

Spokeswoman Marilyn Hurdwell said: “After a very successful year of music-making which included performances of Verdi’s titanic Requiem and Jazz at the Cathedral (both at Arundel), Popular Classics at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden and A Night at the Opera at Angmering School, the Chorale is looking forward to performing two European masterpieces at Arundel on Saturday, November 25, Carols for Christmas at Angmering School on Dec 16, Handel’s Messiah at Arundel on March 17 2018 and the Chorale’s light-hearted summer concert at Angmering School on June 23 2018. In addition to all these, George Jones will conduct a very special World War One centenary concert at the cathedral on November 24 2018, entitled War and Peace, with Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man and Durufle’s Requiem.”

Marilyn added: “The two European Masterpieces are Rossini’s Stabat Mater and John Rutter’s well-loved Gloria. Sandwiched between the two there is room for another great European, Jean Sibelius, whose stirring tone-poem Finlandia will be played by our resident orchestra, the Sinfonia of Arun. Although the sacred works of many composers are frequently performed, relatively few, other than the Italians Rossini and Pergolesi, are well-known for their settings of Stabat Mater. The text was written by a 13th century friar, which graphically describes the sorrowing Virgin Mary standing at the cross where hung her beloved son.

“Gioacchino Antonio Rossini was born of lowly parents in Pesaro, Italy, in 1792. He took music lessons from a pork butcher and later a blacksmith, and wrote his first opera at the age of 14. The following year Rossini entered the music school at Bologna, studying cello, piano and composition, and became best known worldwide for his operatic works such as The Barber of Seville and William Tell.

“Like his countryman Giuseppe Verdi, he was often criticised for using operatic devices in his sacred works – especially in the second movement of Stabat Mater: Cujus Animam and in his Petite Messe Solennelle which was neither small nor particularly solemn!

“John Rutter has undeniably gained tremendous popularity both in England and abroad, especially in the USA, mainly for his very accessible choral music. This includes many arrangements of hymns and carols, as well as a fine Requiem, Magnificat, Gloria and other sacred works. H e was born in London in 1945, attended Highgate School with other composers such as John Tavener and took part in the first recording of Britten’s War Requiem. He studied music at Clare College, Cambridge, becoming musical director in 1975.”

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