Weekly Notices

1 August 2022

Dear All,

For those interested in knowing which scores we will be using this coming term, they are:

Handel Four Coronation Anthems: OUP edition
Haydn Nelson Mass: New Novello edition

Philip Booth

30 July 2022

Dear All,

Summer Programme 2023
Summer 2023 is some way off, but we thought you would like to see what is planned. It might be helpful too in your efforts to recruit new members for September 8.

Duncan writes:

“Our Summer 2023 concert explores 19th century composers from Bohemia, Russia, Germany and Hungary.

Dvorak – Six Moravian Songs
Tchaikovsky – Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (selected movements)
Clara Schumann – Abendfeier in Venedig
Liszt – Missa Choralis

Dvorak’s Six Moravian Songs for four-part choir and piano is an adaptation by Leo Janacek of some of Dvorak’s delightful Moravian Duets (1875-81) that helped Dvorak 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 rich and powerful 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’. Tchaikovsky’s setting is a masterpiece.

The brilliant pianist and composer Clara Schumann, adored by Robert Schumann and Brahms, has been described as one of the most influential women in musical history. We sang her beautiful sacred part song Abendfeier in Venedig (Evening celebration in Venice) during lockdown.

The Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (a first for SCS) is also regarded as one of the greatest pianists that ever lived. With his ‘three hand effect’ and ‘flying trapeze’ school of piano-playing, electrifying performing presence and good looks, the term ‘Lisztomania’ was coined by the poet Heine in 1844 to describe the intense fan frenzy directed at him.

Missa Choralis (1856) shows a different side to Liszt and was written in Rome while taking holy orders and studying Palestrina and Gregorian chant. Under this influence, it is sober and contemplative in style and has extraordinary depth, variety and beauty.

Some recordings:
Dvorak (we will sing in English)
Tchaikovsky No. 1 (others to be announced)
Clara Schumann
Liszt (excerpt)

Here is a picture of where Dvorak’s songs hail from.
And something on Tchaikovsky, and an icon of St John Chrysostom.
On Clara Schumann, click here.
On Liszt, click here.”

Next term
And, finally, click here for a reminder of next term’s programme.

Details of how to sign on for next term will come to you in a few weeks.

Philip Booth

30 May 2022

Dear All,

Party for Duncan on Saturday
If you were unable to attend the party on Saturday to celebrate Duncan’s 25 years as Music Director of SCS, here is a brief account:
The party, in a festooned St Michael’s, was attended by about 70 people. The food and wine brought by everyone was plentiful and very good. We sang four of the part-songs from Party Pieces. The Chair gave a speech, and Duncan was given a present from the choir of a ‘very nice’ bottle of sherry and a ‘very nice’ bottle of wine and gave a speech. Then cakes made by Sue Cavanna were cut, Happy Birthday rang out spontaneously, and cake was consumed!
Thanks go to the organisers – a sub-committee of the committee involving Sue Cavanna, Sue Palmer, Catrin Roberts, Ki Smith and the Chair – and for all those who helped spontaneously on the night. I think it is fair to say that a good time was had by all!

One feature of the evening was a running ‘video’ of photos from our archives. Here is a link to it (or see just below). It runs for 13 minutes. And here is an explanatory note about the photos.
URL link for photos: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxkwe728z7alyzd/SCS%2028%20May%20with%20titles%20final2%2024.5.22.mp4?dl=0

Here is a photo of Duncan conducting the part-songs, caught by Patrick O’Meara (bass).
Here is a photo of the cakes. The choir on the middle cake is singing The Long Day Closes – the conductor’s music accurately depicts this in miniature! Duncan checked it!
Here is a photo of Duncan, Sue and the cakes.

If you have other photos of the party, send them to me and I will make an album of them to share.

Works conducted by Duncan
Also on display at the party was a list of the works Duncan has conducted in his 25 years with us. You may be interested to see it. Click here.

Printed Programme of 21 May concert
Duncan was also given a printed copy of the programme for the concert of French Music. Since it is such a lovely programme, you may want one too as a memento. (Click here for a reminder of what it looks like.) If so, send me an email. We can’t work out the cost until we know how many people would like one, but if it were 10 people, the cost would be £10, if it were 50, it would be £4 etc. I will let you know the cost before you make a final decision.

Next season
A number of members are accompanying Duncan to Porto (16-21 August), singing part-songs and a Cardoso Mass. Otherwise there is no choir activity until you receive a pre-season email in late August. The new season starts on Thursday 8 September, 8pm in St Michael’s, with Handel’s Coronation Anthems and Haydn’s Nelson Mass, to be performed with Instruments of Time and Truth on 21 January 2023 in St Andrew’s. Please spread the word and encourage family, friends and acquaintances to join us. There is a lot of information about the choir on the website that you can direct them to.
And, finally, if you are already planning next year’s holidays, the summer concert is currently scheduled for 20 May 2023, but has to be confirmed.

Here is to a less Covid-restricted summer!

Philip Booth