Gloriana’s 2018 concert season

Gloriana’s 2018 season features some of the most treasured works from the choir’s repertoire, alongside new works by contemporary composers.

Our season tickets are excellent value, giving you four tickets for the price of three. Season tickets are $105.

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Concert 1. Sunday, 4 March

A GERMAN REQUIEM

J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Ein Deutsches Requiem Op. 45

From its first performance Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem was immediately recognised as a masterpiece of exceptional vision, confirming Brahms’ reputation as a composer of international stature. Brahms drew his texts from the Lutheran Bible – texts that emphasise faith in the Resurrection and comfort to the living.

The work’s seven movements are arranged in a palindrome around the central fourth movement Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen, which marks a shift from the solemnity of the first three movements to the certainty of comfort in the last three. Ein Deutsches Requiem is performed here in a version created by Brahms featuring a two-piano accompaniment.

Bach exerted a profound influence on Brahms and his motet Jesu, meine Freude BWV 227 uses the same palindromic structure to unify its strongly-characterised musical ideas.

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Concert 2. Sunday, 24 June

HEAVENLY HARMONIES

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525-1594) Missa Papae Marcelli
Sir William Harris (1883-1973) Bring us, O Lord God
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Three Shakespeare Songs
Sir James MacMillan (b.1959) The Gallant Weaver
Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016): Die erste Elegie
Arvo Pärt (b.1935): Da pacem Domine

In the late sixteenth century a legend grew up around Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. The Council of Trent had expressed concerns that polyphony obscured sacred texts, thus interfering with the listener’s devotion.

But the simple, declamatory style of much of the Missa Papae Marcelli convinced the church authorities that polyphony could be intelligible as well as beautiful. In fact, nineteenth-century musicologists dubbed Palestrina the ‘saviour of polyphony’. Hyperbole aside, there is no doubt that the Missa Papae Marcelli is one of Palestrina’s greatest achievements – a work marked by its lucidity, concision and sheer splendour of sound.

The mood of elevation in the Missa Papae Marcelli carries into the other works in this programme, which includes gems by Harris, Vaughan Williams and James MacMillan, and riveting soundscapes by Rautavaara and Pärt.

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Concert 3. Sunday, 23 September

DURUFLÉ REQUIEM

Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986): Requiem Op. 9
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): Figure Humaine
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Messe Basse, transcription for a cappella choir by Andrew Raiskums
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992): O sacrum convivium

This concert brings together two of the most imposing choral works from twentieth-century France: Maurice Duruflé’s sublime Requiem and Francis Poulenc’s searing Figure Humaine.

Clearly referring to Fauré’s example, Duruflé chose to set exactly the same texts that Fauré used in his Requiem. Durufle’s Requiem is a tour-de-force; from the use of Gregorian chants to generate almost all the thematic material in the work to the ease with which Duruflé builds beguiling textures around these chants, and the virtuosity of the organ part.

Figure Humaine is one of Poulenc’s greatest works: a cantata for two six-part choirs, written during the Nazi occupation of France. Using a selection of poems by Paul Eluard, including the celebrated ‘Liberté’, Figure Humaine expresses ‘the suffering of the people of France’ and the ‘hope of the final triumph over tyranny’. This programme also features Fauré’s Messe Basse, in a transcription for a cappella choir and Messiaen’s spellbinding O sacrum Convivium.

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Concert 4. Sunday, 18 November

AMERICAN CLASSICS

Aaron Copland (1900-1990): In the Beginning
Samuel Barber (1910-1981): Agnus Dei
Morten Lauridsen (b.1943): Soneto de la Noche & Ave, dulcissima Maria
Eric Whitacre (b.1970): Sainte-Chapelle & i thank You God for most this amazing day
René Clausen (b.1953): Tonight eternity alone
Stephen Paulus (1949-2014): Pilgrims’ Hymn
Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998): Five Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time

Aaron Copland’s extraordinary In the Beginning sets thirty-eight verses from the Book of Genesis. Using subtle musical devices and clear text painting, Copland brilliantly depicts the actions in the Creation story, building to a spectacular close.

Barber’s Agnus Dei is a reworking for a cappella choir of his much-loved Adagio for Strings. Morten Lauridsen’s Soneto de la Noche is a setting of one of Pablo Neruda’s most transcendent poems; Ave dulcissima Maria is a beguiling work scored for seven-part men’s voices.

Eric Whitacre’s distinctive harmonic language dazzles us in and i thank You God for most this amazing day –a setting of words by E.E. Cummings.

Sir Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time is the source of his Five Negro Spirituals, which were subsequently arranged for a cappella choir. Exquisite miniatures by René Clausen and Stephen Paulus also adorn this programme.

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Buying tickets

Our adult tickets are $35.00. We sell $15.00 rush tickets for tertiary students only.

You can buy tickets online or by cash/EFTPOS on the day of the concert. We also accept cheques. Please make cheques payable to Beautiful Noises Pty Ltd and post your cheque with a note stating your name and contact number to: 18 Yanigin Drive, Glen Waverley, 3150.

All our concerts take place at Sacred Heart Church in Carlton.

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