Celebrate Easter with Birmingham Bach Choir

St Chad's Cathedral

St Chad’s Cathedral

The architectural splendour of St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham is the perfect setting for a concert of rarely performed music by Birmingham Bach Choir.

On Saturday 23 March 2013, in the run up to Easter, the choir will perform Victoria’s Tenebrae Responsories, alongside Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence.

Written in the 1570s, Tomás Luis de Victoria’s 18 Tenebrae Responsories for choir and soloists are among the Spanish composers’ most inspired works.

Tenebrae (Latin for ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’) is a Christian religious service celebrated on the evening before or early morning of the last three days of Holy Week – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Music and candles play a large part in the service. Whilst the liturgy is sung the church is lit by 15 candles (representing the 11 apostles, the three Marys, and Christ) on a triangular stand. As each psalm is chanted, a candle was extinguished, so that after the 14th psalm only the highest candle, representing Christ, is still alight, leaving the church in near darkness.

Born in the Castile region of Spain in 1548, Victoria is recognised as the country’s first great composer. Though now rarely performed, his Tenebrae Responsories are powerfully moving compositions.

Continuing the spiritual theme, this work is contrasted by a performance of Francis Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence, completed in 1939 – three years after the French composer had rediscovered his Roman Catholic faith following the death of several friends.

Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the region since 1919, making it one of the oldest musical groups in the area. Although they perform music spanning over 300 years, the main focus is the music of JS Bach and the Baroque period.

St Chad’s is the Mother Church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, which covers five counties. Built between 1839 and 1841, the cathedral was designed by architect Augustus Pugin, pioneer of the Gothic Revival and famed for designing much of the interiors of the Houses of Parliament.

Tickets for The Glory Of Easter are £15 (£12 conc). For more information, see: http://www.birmingham.bachchoir.com

Listings

Saturday 23 March 2013
Birmingham Bach Choir: The Glory of Easter
Victoria:                 Tenebrae Responsories
Poulenc:                Quatre motets pour un temps de penitence
Conductor:            Paul Spicer
St Chad’s Cathedral, St Chad’s Queensway, Birmingham B4 6ET
7.30pm
Tickets: £15 / £12 concessions
Book online via: www.thsh.co.uk/event/glory-of-easter-13/
Ticket Booking Line: 0121 780 3333. (Subject to £2.50 fee per transaction on all bookings except purchases made in person at the Box Office). By email: tickets@birmingham.bachchoir.com

For more information: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com

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