Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

December 10th 2022 – A Choral Christmas

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Content to be confirmed.

March 18th 2023

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Content to be confirmed.

June 17th 2023

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Content to be confirmed.

December 9th 2023

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Content to be confirmed.

Future Programme Proposals

This would normally outline the proposed programme of concerts for the coming years but, as you will understand, all of our planning has been disrupted by the pandemic. We are only just being able to plan the details of concerts and so some of the following are simply possible concert dates. All dates are 7.30 p.m. on Saturdays in Sunderland Minster unless otherwise noted.

December 10th 2022

March 18th 2023

June 17th 2023

December 9th 2023 – This concert will be the first in our 75th Anniversary Season

June 18th 2022 – Rossini – Petite Messe Solennelle

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Tickets remain at their pre-Covid prices and can be obtained via any member of the choir or by making a request using the Contact Us page of this website.

On this occasion we are not using the WeGotTickets option to offer tickets, so please ignore the ‘Booking Tickets’ page and any reference and link to WeGotTickets on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

In the Nave £14.00, £8.00 (students & income related benefits), accompanied Under 16s free (but they do need a ticket to ensure a seat), and £8.00 in the Gallery (with restricted view).

Soloists : Laurie Ashworth – soprano, Clare McCaldin – mezzosoprano, Richard Pinkstone – tenor,

Patrick Owston – bass.

Gioachino Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle (Little solemn mass) was written in 1863, possibly at the request of Count Alexis Pillet-Will for his wife Louise to whom it is dedicated. The composer, who had retired from composing operas more than 30 years before, described it as “the last of my péchés de vieillesse” (sins of old age).

The extended work is a missa solemnis, but Rossini labeled it, not without irony, petite (little). He scored it originally for twelve singers, four of them soloists, two pianos and harmonium. The mass was first performed on 14 March 1864 at the couple’s new home in Paris. Rossini later produced an orchestral version, including an additional movement, a setting of the hymn “O salutaris hostia” as a soprano aria. This version of the mass was not performed during his lifetime because he could not obtain permission to perform it with female singers in a church. It was first performed three months after his death, at the Salle Ventadour in Paris by the company of the Théâtre-Italien on 24 February 1869.

The unusual scoring for voices, two pianos and harmonium is in the Neapolitan harpsichord tradition of the 18th century. Rossini specified, on the second page of his manuscript, twelve singers in all, noting on the title page: “Twelve singers of three sexes, men, women and castrati will suffice for its execution: that is, eight for the choir, four soloists, in all twelve cherubim”.

April 2nd 2022 – We regret that we are unable to offer a concert on this date due to disruptions in our rehearsal schedule at the beginning of 2022

The planned Rossini concert will now take place on Saturday the 18th June 2022

Petite Messe Solennelle – Rossini

CANCELLED – St. John Passion – J S Bach – April 4th 2020

This concert has been CANCELLED.

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Tickets £14.00 for Nave (£8 concessions for full-time students and on income related benefits) or £8.00 (Gallery – limited view). Accompanied under 16s free. Tickets are available from members of the Society, at the door, or on-line from http://www.wegottickets.com/BCS – who also have a direct link on the home page of this website. Doors open from 6.45 p.m. Apart from seats marked for Patrons there are no allocated seats.

To be sung in the original German.

Soloists :          Elinor Rolfe Johnson – Soprano, Jorge Navarro Colorado – tenor (Evangelist), James Laing – countertenor, Felix Kemp – baritone (Christus), Nathaniel Thomas Aitkin – tenor, and Patrick Owston – baritone.

From 1723 until his death Bach was employed as Kantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig. It was a prestigious but demanding post, requiring him not only to teach at the school but also to play the organ, train the choir and compose the music for the city’s two principal Lutheran churches, Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche, as well as supervising and training the musicians at two others. Despite this heavy workload and frequent disputes with his employers, Bach composed some of his greatest music during this period. His choral compositions alone include such enduring masterpieces as the Mass in B minor, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, and the St John and St Matthew Passions.

The St John Passion, a sacred oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, is “carefully designed with a great deal of musico-theological intent”.

The original Latin title Passio secundum Joannem translates to “Passion according to John”. Bach’s large choral composition in two parts on German text, written to be performed in a Lutheran service on Good Friday, is based on the Passion, as told in two chapters from the Gospel of John (John 18 and John 19) in the translation by Martin Luther, with two short interpolations from the Gospel of Matthew. During the vespers service, the two parts of the work were performed before and after the sermon.

Part I covers the events until Peter’s denial of Jesus, Part II concludes with the burial of Jesus. The Bible text is reflected in contemporary poetry and in chorales that often end a “scene” of the narration, similar to the way a chorale ends most Bach cantatas. An anonymous poet supplied a few texts himself, quoted from other Passion texts and inserted various stanzas of chorales by nine hymn writers. The Passion, close to Bach’s heart, has an “immediate dramatic quality”.

The anonymous libretto draws on existing works and is compiled from recitatives and choruses narrating the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John, ariosos and arias reflecting on the action, and chorales using hymn tunes and texts familiar to a congregation of Bach’s contemporaries. Compared with the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion has been described as more extravagant, with an expressive immediacy, at times more unbridled and less “finished”.

Originally Bach intended that the St John Passion would be first performed in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, but due to a last-minute change by the music council, it was first performed on Good Friday of 1724 in the St. Nicholas Church, shortly after Bach’s 39th birthday. Bach quickly agreed to their desire to move the service to St. Nicholas Church, but pointed out that the booklet was already printed, that there was no room available and that the harpsichord needed some repair, all of which, however, could be attended to at little cost; but he requested that a little additional room be provided in the choir loft of St. Nicholas Church, where he planned to place the musicians needed to perform the music. The council agreed and had to send out a flyer announcing the new location to all the people around Leipzig!

CANCELLED – Requiem – Brahms – June 20th 2020

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

The proposed programme is Brahms Requiem but may be subject to change.

CANCELLED – Messiah -Handel – December 5th 2020

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

The proposed programme is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ but may be subject to change.