Music for Passiontide

Rodborough Parish Church

Church Place, Walkley Hill, Stroud

Saturday 4 April  2009

Directed by Philip Colls

with Ralf Blasi

(organ scholar, Gloucester Cathedral)

featuring choral music from the 16th - 20th centuries:

FAURÉ: Messe Basse

The Messe Basse dates from about 1880, although it was not published until 1907. It is scored for high voices and organ. Fauré omitted the Gloria and Credo and concentrated instead on the Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei, imbuing them with a quiet lyricism that is also found in his songs and some of his piano works.

Elgar: Ave verum corpus

Elgar's affecting piece is in two sections: Sopranos sang the first part which was then repeated by the full choir in harmony. In the second half the whole choir sang the melody in unison, and only towards the end did we hear again the full choir in harmony.

Sanders: The Reproaches

The Reproaches (or Improperia) are part of the liturgy for Good Friday. Here, Christ reproaches the Jews, who, despite all the Divine favours (particularly delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land), inflicted on him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death. This haunting and heart-rending setting is one of the finest works by the late John Sanders, Organist of Gloucester Cathedral from 1967 to 1994.

The programme also included organ solos and works by Vaughan Williams and Bairstow

The Cappella Singers: Registered Charity no 262530