St Albans Choral Society is centuries apart

NEARLY 300 years separates two works to be performed by St Albans Choral Society in its first concert of the season.

Vivaldi’s Gloria in D was written around 1715 and Magnificat by Cecila McDowall was commissioned in 2003 – but the two have more in comment than first appears.

Gloria in D is one of Vivaldi’s most popular works and is the better known of the two surviving versions of the Gloria. Yet it lay undiscovered for two centuries after the Baroque composer’s death until it was found in a pile of forgotten manuscripts in the 1920s with its first modern performance taking place in Siena in 1939.

Magnificat was written by the choir’s composer-in-association and was commissioned by Finchley Choral Society. Adorned with deft Baroque flourishes, it has been described as having a freshness and vitality about it combined with melodic lines and occasionally astringent harmony with rhythmic vitality.

The soloists for the concert at 7.30pm next Saturday, October 23, at St Saviour’s Church in Sandpit Lane, will be soprano Nicola Stonehouse and mezzo Michelle Harris. Orchestra Nova will open the programme with Benjamin Britten’s youthful Simple Symphony based on eight themes he wrote as a child.

Tickets are �17 and �15 with concessions �14 and �12 with children �1, available from the ticket line on 07884 231958, online at or on the door.