Dartington Community Choir Spring Concert 2019
Sunday April 14 at 7.30pm, in The Great Hall, Dartington
Requiems by Karl Jenkins and Maurice Duruflé
While some choirs tend to keep to the time-honoured format of one major work per concert, you can always count on Simon Capet and the Dartington Community Choir (DCC) to come up with something eminently more exciting, and which breaks up the evening so much better for audience and performer alike. DCC spokesperson, Hilary Tuppen, goes on to explain:
‘Dartington Community Choir’s performance of Ryba’s Czech Christmas Mass and Handel’s Dixit Dominus in December was a veritable Christmas musical feast!
Departing from tradition
For its spring concert in April, the Choir’s director of music Simon Capet brings together two very different Requiems, first performed more than half a century apart – Maurice Duruflé’s of 1947 and Karl Jenkins’ of 2005. Both are based on the traditional Latin requiem Mass for the Dead, but both depart in various ways from that tradition – and both are instantly appealing, too.
Duruflé’s lyrical interpretation moves away, like Fauré’s Requiem of half a century earlier, from the traditional emphasis on tragic anguish and the dramatic horror of hell, into something more spiritually serene, blending Gregorian plainchant, which Duruflé loved deeply, with the sensuous harmonies of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, and also with Renaissance contrapuntal techniques and hints of contemporary opera. Lyrical and gentle, this mass leaves out the terrifying Dies Irae (Day of Judgment) section of the traditional Requiem Mass, concentrating instead on a gentler impression of forgiveness, consolation and faith. The composer dedicated his Requiem to the memory of his father.
Karl Jenkins’s Requiem is, like most of his work, an unashamed, multicultural melting pot of ideas and musical styles. He interjects movements featuring five Japanese funeral poems in the form of haikus sung in Japanese, with those traditionally encountered in a Requiem Mass, and oriental instruments such as the shakuhachi(Japanese flute) are included in the orchestration. And the ferocious Dies Irae – in the greatest possible contrast to Duruflé’s omission of this section – actually has a ‘hip-hop’ beat. Hugely popular, like Jenkins’s other works, his Requiem topped the classical music charts of 2005.
The choir will perform under the direction of Simon Capet, accompanied by the Dartington Sinfonietta, with Peter King (organ) and Clive Bell (shakuhachi). The soloists are Charlotte Forfar (soprano), and the choir’s very own Matt Hulbert (baritone).’
Tickets (£19 (unreserved); students & U16s £7.50) are available from Dartington Box Office 01803 847070 or on-line www.dartington.org/whats-on
Philip R Buttall
top image: Dartington Community Choir with Clive Bell (inset)
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