East Cornwall Bach Choir

East Cornwall Bach Choir presents Two Concerts for the Christmas Season

Nine Lessons & Carols
Wednesday December 6 at 7.30pm in St Germans Priory Church

Service led by parishioners of St Germans, featuring East Cornwall Bach Choir (ECBC) in Carols & Motets, and Christmas Hymns for everybody, with Mike Hodge (organ) and Chris Howarth (conductor).

The title ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ at once reminds most people of King’s College, Cambridge – and Christmas Eve, but although this service has been offered there annually since 1918, King’s has no exclusive copyright on it: in fact it originated in Cornwall, the work of Edward Benson, Truro Cathedral’s first Bishop (1877-1883), later to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

ECBC is grateful for the opportunity to present this lovely combination of worship and Christmas music in the historic and atmospheric setting of

St Germans Priory Church. The customary Bidding Prayer and final blessing will be used in the service, and lessons will be read by members or friends of ECBC. There will be the chance for everyone to join in the singing of six favourite Christmas hymns, and the choir will perform six Christmas motets or carols; the organ accompaniments throughout will be provided by a former organist of St Germans, Mike Hodge.

As this event is a service and a charitable event as much as a concert, there will be no tickets on sale, and anyone who wants to attend should arrive in good time.

Joyeux Noël: A Concert of Christmas Music especially from France

Saturday December 16 at 7.30pm at St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin

Programme includes:
Marc-Antoine Charpentier:

Francis Poulenc:

East Cornwall Bach Choir
Trio: “Time and Tide Waits”
The Liskeard Players
Organist: Tony Philpott
Musical Director:  Chris Howarth

Tickets: Bodmin Tourist Office (01028 76616),
Liskeard Tourist Information (01579 349148),
Online at www.ecbc.co.uk and from choir members.

Adults: £10, Students: £5, Children 12 & under: free.

ECBC returns once more to the magnificent parish church of Bodmin during its spectacular annual Christmas Tree Festival to present their Christmas concert, which includes traditional English favourites, but this year also features works by two strongly-contrasting French composers – the

Messe de Minuit (Midnight Mass) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier [1643-1704], and Quatre Motets pour le Temps de Noël (Four Motets for the Christmas Season) by Francis Poulenc [1899-1963].

The Mass, written c.1690, is a Latin Mass for choir, with some solo passages, and is exceptionally lyrical and joyous, partly because of its Christmas atmosphere, but also because much of its music is, most unusual for its time, based on traditional French carols (noëls), a selection of which the choir will sing – and, on both occasions, the accompaniment features a chamber ensemble which includes period instruments (recorders, dulcian and assorted percussion.

The Motets by Poulenc [1953] are among his most popular pieces. Like the Midnight Mass, these pieces (for unaccompanied choir) are composed on Latin texts, in this case taken from church services for Christmas Day and the week of Epiphany. Into about ten minutes of music the composer packs an extraordinary variety of moods, ranging from deepest mystery to ecstatic celebration, and expressed in a musical style which is by turns ancient and modern, naïve and profound.

In addition to this music the choir will be singing half-a-dozen other carols and motets (French & English), and the audience will be invited to join with them in four well-known seasonal hymns or carols.

An ECBC spokesperson added: ‘Please come and join us in this lovely church, to get your 2017 Christmas celebrations off to a really inspirational start!’

Philip R Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip R Buttall was the Classical Music Writer at Plymouth Herald from 1997-2017. He is a sought-after piano teacher, composer and arranger, and online concert and CD reviewer. Further information and contact details are available at www.philiprbuttall.co.uk
Philip Buttall