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Ashford Choral Society Concert

Ashford Choral Society, Orchestra and Soloists, under the baton of Matthew Raisbeck, will perform a programme of Schubert, Mozart, Rheinberger and Durante.

Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Spatzenmesse and Misericordias Domini, Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater, Durante’s Litanie della Beata Maria Vergine. Though each of the five works is relatively short, all offer a full and satisfying expression of the composer.

Franz Schubert´s mass in G major is a missa brevis composed in 1815, when he was only 18 years old – though the work shows great maturity, poise and beauty.

Mozart wrote this charming Mass in 1775 when he was 19 and employed as a court musician in Salzburg. The ‘Spatzenmesse’ (or ‘Sparrow Mass’) takes its’ name from a motif in the Osanna section of two movements – the Sanctus and Benedictus, where the violins seem to ‘chirp’ just before the choir takes up the main theme.

The Misericordias Domini also dates from 1775. Mozart composed this brief offertory setting as a demonstration of his contrapuntal skills, as he explained, “A few days before my departure [from Munich] the Elector expressed a desire to hear some of my contrapuntal compositions. I was therefore obliged to write this motet in a great hurry, in order to have time to have the score copied for his Highness and to have the parts written out and thus enable it to be performed during the Offertory at High Mass on the following Sunday.”

Joseph Rheinberger was born on 17 March 1839 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. He spent most of his life in Munich, Germany where he died in 1901. Rheinberger’s Stabat Mater op. 138 is one of his most personal works – composed as an act of thanksgiving for the healing of an injury to his hand. Through clever harmonic twists and turns Rheinberger subtly manages to transform the atmosphere of suffering and pain in the face of the cross into hope and salvation.

Francesco Durante was a highly respected composer and teacher during the first half of the 18th century in Naples. He was known for his sacred music and his works became examples of “good composition” used for teaching. His rich style of composition is renowned for its resourcefulness and originality. His beautiful and moving Litanie della Beata Maria Vergine is a perfect example of Baroque choral style.

Miniature Masterworks

Sat 27 April


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