Liszt – Missa Choralis
Dvořák – Six Moravian Songs
Tchaikovsky – Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (movements 1 & 13)
Clara Schumann – Abendfeier in Venedig
Bortniansky – Cherubic Hymn (no.7)
Brahms – Geistliches Lied (soloists)
Brahms – In Stiller Nacht (soloists)
Liszt – Ad nos ad salutarem undam (finale) (Julian Littlewood, organ)
Liszt – Appassionata (Julian Littlewood, piano)
About this concert:
SCS’s Music Director, Duncan Saunderson, writes:
Missa Choralis (1865) shows a different side to the piano virtuoso Liszt and was written in Rome while taking holy orders and studying Palestrina and Gregorian chant.
Dvořák’s Six Moravian Songs helped launch his international career as a composer. The influential Brahms rated them highly to a publisher: ‘You will find pleasure in them as I did, and as a publisher you will be especially delighted in the piquancy’.
Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (1878) was first performed in the University Church, Kyiv. The 5th century Archbishop of Constantinople’s Liturgy was the most celebrated divine liturgy in the Byzantine Rite, and considered by Tchaikovsky as ‘one of the greatest productions of art …it is impossible not to be profoundly moved’.
Clara Schumann has been described as one of the most influential women in musical history. Venetian Vespers is one of her simple but beautiful unaccompanied partsongs.
The Russian Ukrainian composer Dmitry Bortniansky (1752 – 1825) has been described as ‘The Father of Ukrainian Music’. Cherubic Hymn is also from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.
SCS will be joined by soloists Emma and Kate Ashby (members of the world-renowned early music ensemble Stile Antico), Ben Durrant (a member of The BBC Singers, arguably the most versatile chamber choir in the world!) and Oxford’s superb baritone, Dan Tate.
And SCS’s accompanist, Julian Littlewood, writes about the pieces he will be playing:
The two solo keyboard works show different sides of Liszt the virtuoso. We hear the rousing finale to Ad nos, ad salutarem undam, a stirring organ composition with the same scale and ambition as his B-minor sonata, using similar techniques of thematic transformation on its source chorale. The F-minor Transcendental Study Appassionata shows Liszt at his most polished – progressively honed over almost 30 years of performance between first publication and final revision.
Early booking is essential!