Friday, 30 March 2018

30th March 2018 Good Friday

The Cross of Christ

Our Good Friday service followed the form of The Cross Of Christ from the Royal School of Church Music.

The choir sang 3 motets:

"Is it nothing to you"  Ouseley (1825 - 1889)

Sir Frederick Arthur Gore Ouseley was born in London and showed a prodigious faculty for music, composing his first opera at the age of eight! In 1844 he inherited the baronetcy and also went to Christ Church, gaining his BA in 1846 and his MA in 1849.  He was ordained the same year as gaining his MA and served as curate in St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge.  He was throughout his life conflicted by his aristocratic heritage and his performance of Anglican music, considered to be below someone of his standing. In 1850 he took the degree of Mus. B at the University of Oxford, 4 years later the degree of Mus.D.  In 1855 he was Heather Professor of Music at Oxford until 1889.  In 1856 he founded and endowed with his own money, St Michael's College, a model choir school in the Anglican tradition.  He was also its first Warden. His works are little known today, but his most notable student was Sir John Stainer.
Frederick Ouseley.jpg
Ouseley
Picture from Wikipaedia
2 Kings 24:13  Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.


"O Lord who dares to smite thee. "  J S Bach

Taken from his St Matthew's Passion
See  also 13.5.17.


"O Saviour of the world"  Sir John Goss (1800 - 1880)

Sir John Goss was a boy chorister in The Chapel Royal and later a pupil of Sir Thomas Attwood, organist at St Paul's cathedral.  He spend a short time in the chorus of an opera company before being organist at a number of churches, finally at St Paul's where he worked hard to improve the musical standards. His works are mostly vocal, both sacred and secular.  From 1827 until 1874, he was a professor at The Royal Academy of Music teaching harmony.  He taught Arthur Sullivan and John Stainer who succeeded him as organist at St Paul's.

upright=Goss circa 1835
Sir John Goss
Picture from Wikipedia
See also 18.3.18.

29th March 2018 Maundy Thursday

Ave Verum Corpus     Edward Elgar

See 22.10.17

Sunday, 25 March 2018

25th March 2018 Palm Sunday

God So Loved The World   John Stainer

See 25.6.17

James, one of our junior choristers sang his solo 2 verses of "All things bright and beautiful" as part of his choral training.

24th March 2018

Olivet to Calvary  John H Maunder (1858-1920)

A Sacred Cantata

Recalling some of the incidents in the last days of Saviour's life on earth.

The choir performed this cantata along with a few choir guests.

The soloists were:
Sarah Amos - Soprano
Hilary Platts - Tenor
Peter Webster - Baritone

with our Musical Director Joanna Chivers at the piano.

See 14th April 2017 >>
Programme notes >>

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sunday 18th March 2018 passion Sunday

Jubilate Deo in B flat  Charles Villiers Stanford 

Taken from the Novello Copy:
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford has a perverse relationship with posterity.  Remembered today largely for his choral miniatures, this restless symphonist was the unwilling Janus of British music. A significant presence on the European scene in his own lifetime, he was an outspoken critic of Wagner, Strauss and modernism in general. Nevertheless, as a formalist with flair and skill, his influence catalysed much of the great English Music of the 20th century.  As fellow composer George Dyson said: "In a certain sense the very rebellion he fought was the most obvious fruit of his methods". The Jubilate in B flat displays the composer's trademark of thematic structures.
Also see 21.5.2017.

O Saviour of the World   Arthur Somervell (1863-1937)

Sir Arthur Somervell was born in the Lake district, son of Robert Miller Somervell, the founder of K Shoes. He studied composition under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford at King's College Cambridge. For 2 years he studied music at the High School for Music in Berlin, and following that from 1885-1887 at the Royal School of Music in London under Parry. In 1894 he became a Professor at The Royal School of Music, in 1901, he was appointed Inspector of Music at the Board of Education and Scottish Education Department and in 1902 received the Doctor of Music degree from the University of Cambridge. He achieved success during his lifetime for his choral works, but is now mostly remembered for his song cycles. He had a conservative style showing influences from Mendelssohn and Brahms.  He was also very active in music education. He was knighted in 1929.
Somervell, Arthur (1863-1937)
Sir Arthur Sumervill
Picture from Hyperion.



"O Saviour of the World" is a suitable anthem for Lent, Holy Week or Communion, The words are from the Anglican Order for the Visitation of the Sick.

Monday, 12 March 2018

11th March 2018 Mothering Sunday

What Wondrous Love Is This   Geoffrey Weaver

Geoff Weaver was born in 1943.  He read Music at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge gaining an honours degree. He founded the Bath Youth Choir and directed the Bach Cantata Choir. After teaching in the UK, worked in Hong Kong for 8 years with the Church Mission Society. He was Director of Music for 4 years in Bradford Cathedral and 8 years on the training staff at CMS Training College at Selly Oak. He was also Director of Studies/Outreach for the Royal School of Church Music for 8 years.

Image result for geoff weaver music
Picture from St Michael's Chamber Choir
"What Wondrous Love is This" is an American Folk Hymn arranged by Geoff Weaver.  It starts as a simple melody sung for us today by the Junior Choir, and goes into 3 part harmony for the middle stanza, finishing with unison Alto, Tenor, Bass and  Soprano descant, building to a joyous crescendo.


Sunday, 4 March 2018