On Sunday evening, 22nd April, for the final concert in Buckfast Abbey’s nine-day Festival of Sacred Music, local choir Brent Singers performed Mozart’s Requiem Mass along with his Ave Verum Corpus and Laudate Dominum under the baton of Richard Lea, Assistant Organist at the Abbey who had come to Buckfast from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in 2016. The festival was part of the Abbey’s celebration of the thousandth anniversary of its foundation charter given by King Cnut.
Choir spokesperson, Jill Barber, wrote: ‘On a sunny spring evening, the audience queue gathered outside the west door, all tickets having been already sold (although a lucky few without them did manage to get in last).
‘The setting of the abbey church was so appropriate to the music and after a slight delay whilst the last few members of the audience were squeezed in, the performance began with the call to praise the Lord all ye nations, Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes.
‘Then an organ solo followed by Ave verum corpus before the Requiem itself began with the introit, Requiem æternum, dona eis, Domine, Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord. This was followed by the Kyrie the six-part Sequentia and the Offertorium.
‘Next Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, Holy, holy, holy rang out and then Agnus Dei, Lamb of God. The requiem concluded with the communio ending with the opening prayer again Requiem æternum dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis, Give them eternal rest, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
‘The audience left the church, moved and inspired by the work and by its performance and setting.’
The choir was accompanied by a specially assembled orchestra and by soloists Catherine Luke (Soprano), Peter Oakley (Countertenor), Michael Graham (Tenor) and Tim Mirfin (Bass).
Collections made at the end of concerts during the time of the festival were for the Abbey’s Millennium Fund which will go to Devon Hospices as a thanksgiving gift.
Philip R Buttall
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