For their Autumn Concert in the St. George’s Centre, Chatham Maritime, Rochester Choral Society, conducted by their new Musical Director, John Mountford, will perform a varied programme of 20th century music appropriate to the season of Remembrance. Ralph Vaughan Williams lived through both World Wars and this former naval chapel, full of memorials to Medway ships and crews lost in these conflicts, makes a perfect backdrop for two of his choral song-cycles, written before and after his battlefield experience during World War I. His colourfully varied and uplifting Five Mystical Songs (composed in 1911) are settings of George Herbert’s 17th century poems on theological themes of love, sacrifice and ultimate redemption, while his Six Choral Songs to be sung in Time of War (composed in 1940) set Shelley’s allegorical verses about endurance, love and loss to resolute marching tunes, with a twist of longing for a future free from destructive cycles of war. Maurice Duruflé’s timelessly poignant Requiem, completed shortly after the end of World War II, reiterates this theme of salvation from death. Rich harmonies and insistent rhythms transform these plainchant prayers for the dead into an impassioned plea for universal redemption and peace.
Vocal and instrumental soloists will be:
Simon Thorpe – Baritone
Amanda Floyd – Mezzo-soprano
Isla Morgan – Cello
Jeremy Lloyd – Organ & Piano
Tickets will be available on the door
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