Choral Workshop 2015Saturday 24 January 2015
Bach: St Matthew Passion
St Michael’s Without, Bath
Founded in 1946 to study the major choral works of J S Bach, City of Bath Bach Choir regularly performs his three large-scale masterpieces with a baroque orchestra in Bath Abbey. In March 2015 it is the turn of the St Matthew Passion. So, for our very popular Choral Workshop on Saturday 24 January 2015, Nigel Perrin will take us through this epic piece of musical theatre, unravelling Bach’s challenging vocal score and encouraging us to become the vicious mob that incited the crucifixion of Jesus. The day culminates in an abridged, chorus-only performance of Bach’s powerful score.
Bach: St Matthew PassionSaturday 14 March 2015
7.00pm | Bath Abbey
Nathan Vale evangelist
Adrian Powter Jesus
Mhairi Lawson soprano
Rupert Enticknap alto
Alexander Robin Baker bass
Music for Awhile, Margaret Faultless leader
Vespers at Malmesbury AbbeySaturday 4 July 2015
7.30pm | Malmesbury Abbey
Tchaikovsky Music for Vespers
Bath Bach Choir is delighted to have the opportunity to sing in Malmesbury Abbey, and to fill its generous acoustic with the glorious sound of Russian Orthodox music. Tchaikovsky is not immediately associated with choral music, but the full-toned, romantic motets to be performed in the first half of the concert open a new window onto his world. Vespers is the first service of the daily Orthodox cycle of services, which traditionally takes place at sunset or in the early evening. The nine pieces are selected from the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (1878) and the Nine Sacred Pieces from 1884. Although springing from different circumstances, all the pieces – sung in Old Church Slavonic – share a haunting, timeless quality and a focus on letting the text speak clearly, through a style of singing that is spacious and spiritual. For the second half of the programme, Bath Bach Choir will reprise its performance of the well-loved Fauré Requiem given in Bath a week earlier in collaboration with Chorale Darius Milhaud from Aix-en-Provence. A feast for midsummer in this glorious 12th-century abbey.
Lucy Sealy soprano
Iain Duffin baritone
Marcus Sealy organ
Review by a member of the audience:
It was a sublime performance. The variation in dynamics in the Tchaikovsky was really stunning, and at one point I looked at the choir and wondered, “How can so many voices sing so quietly?” The pianissimos were superb, just what the conductor wanted. Such a contrast with the powerful opening. At times, I was almost moved to tears by the sheer beauty of the music. The Fauré was equally beautiful, full of light and shade, sensitivity and drama, the singing so precise. The diction, from where we were sitting, was as clear as a bell. Each of the soloists had expressive qualities and beautiful voices and Marcus, of course, accompanied as sensitively as always. The Otche Nash from memory was also very impressive. Listening to the performance was akin to having a massage, but with sonorous voices replacing the hands. We left feeling totally uplifted by the experience, made all the more special by the surroundings.
Lux AeternaSaturday 7 November 2015
7.30pm | Bath Abbey
Karl Jenkins Motets
John Rutter Requiem
Works by Whitacre, MacMillan and Vaughan Williams
New Bristol Sinfonia
Marcus Sealy organ
Verity Wingate soprano
Carols by Candlelight 201516, 17 and 18 December 2015
7.30pm | The Pump Room, Bath
Come to the Pump Room for the Bath Bach Choir’s annual feast of Christmas music and the true start of Christmas in Bath. Conducted by Nigel Perrin, whose famous banter encourages the audience to participate at various points in the concert, each performance also features a different local children’s choir and virtuoso soloists from Wells Cathedral School.