Music from accross the centuries for St Albans Choral Society

Louise Winter

Louise Winter - Credit: Archant

Rossini’s popular Petite Messe Solennelle will be the centerpiece of a feast of 19th and 21st Century music at the St Albans Choral Society summer concert next Saturday, July 5.

Recognised by his contemporaries as the greatest Italian composer of his time, Rossini regarded the graceful mass which he wrote in 1863 aged 71 as one of his péchés de vieillesse (“sins of old age”).

Composed to be performed in private salons, Rossini decided to orchestrate it after a reviewer at the time wrote that there was enough fire in the piece to melt a marble cathedral were it to be scored for full chorus and orchestra.

The soloists for the concert at 7.30pm in St Saviour’s Church, conducted by George Vass, are Mary Nelson, soprano, Louise Winter, mezzo soprano, Christopher Bowen, tenor, and Michael Bundy, bass-baritone. Timothy End will play the piano and Richard Harvey the organ.

The choir will also perform works by composer-in-association Cecilia McDowall – A Wedding Blessing, written two years ago to celebrate the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of long-time Choral Society member, Alun Hopkins, and three movements from her 2011 Northlight, commissioned by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and with the theme of renewal.


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In addition there will be two arrangements of traditional songs by Bob Chilcott, The Lily and the Rose and The Skye Boat Song.

Tickets are £18 (£15 concessions), £15 (£12 concessions), and £1 for children and are available from SACS Ticket Line on 07884 231958 or online at allaboutstalbans.com

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