Saturday 4th July 2009
Finchley choral Society
Handel – Dixit Dominus; Vivaldi- Gloria
What a beautiful place for beautiful music. The Chorus and the Florian Chamber Orchestra were arranged under the colourful stained glass of the west window as it let in the rays from the setting sun of a perfect summer’s day.
The two hundred or so souls that had struggled to park in the crowded Hampstead streets were rewarded with some marvellously performed heavenly music. Luckily, because of a relatively low turn out, we all got central aisle seats.
Handel’s Dixit Dominus was launched with great enthusiasm and joy by the choir. The second movement (Virgam virtutis) gave alto Tom Williams the opportunity to shine in a duet with the organ. This was followed by a magnificent, flowing soprano solo from the excellent Tara Bungard. By the end of the gymnastic Tu es sacerdos the whole choir was beaming with delight at the beauty they had just helped to create.
The final three movement were amazing. After the crochet working of the “conquassabit” the two soprano’s, with beautifully complimentary voices, gave the De Torrente. In the finale – the Gloria Patri - there was so much going on here that it was difficult to keep track of the ebbs and flows of the different parts of the choir – an amazing and uplifting experience.
After an lengthy interval (and educational trip round the graveyard) we reassembled for Vivaldi’s Gloria. Like his Four seasons, this must be one of the most quoted pieces in the classical music canon. Bits are always popping up in films, documentaries and TV ads. Hearing the piece in its entirety is a reminder of what a work of genius and beauty it is.
And, having it performed in a building whose construction started only thirty years after it was written (1715), added to the wonder of the piece.
The choir and orchestra gave the audience the wonderfully energetic start that they were anticipating – the sopranos were brilliant in the Handel and we were not disappointed as they offered a breathtaking Laudamus Te.
And so the rest of the performance continued – joyous, uplifting and beautiful All from a chorus and orchestra inspired by the beauty of the music and the sheer joy of performance.
David Winskill. Ham and High.
Music Director: Grace Rossiter
Registered Charity No. 265563
Press Release: 4 May 2010
Finchley Choral Society’s summer concert will feature an all Italian programme with works by Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Domenico Scarlatti’s masterpiece Stabat Mater.
Domenico Scarlatti, son of Alessandro Scarlatti, was a contemporary of Handel and Bach. The Stabat Mater is perhaps Scarlatti’s best-known choral work and was written in 1715 before he left Rome. An extensive work, the Stabat Mater is written for ten voice parts and reflects the late Venetian polyphonic style. The austerity and reflective quality of the work stand out against the bel canto mode prevalent at the time and convey the composer’s spiritual intentions to the full.
Without doubt, Monteverdi was the greatest of the Italian Renaissance composers. He revolutionised the music of the theatre and the church with his dramatic and imaginative use of instruments and voices. Beatus Vir, a setting of Psalm 112, was probably composed in 1630 and is a superb example of Monteverdi’s dramatic style.
Grace Rossiter will conduct Finchley Choral Society. They will be joined by members of the Florian Chamber Orchestra and the choir’s accompanist Richard Harvey on the organ.
FCS was founded over one hundred years ago to give local people the opportunity to take part in high quality music making. It is now a firmly established part of the musical life in North London. The choir will be singing for the first time at St Anne’s Church, Highgate.
Saturday 19th June 2010 at 7.45pm
St. Anne's, Highgate West Hill, London N6 6AP
Scarlatti Stabat Mater
Monteverdi Beatus vir
Vivaldi Beatus vir
L'estro harmonico Op.3 No.4
Members of the Florian Chamber Orchestra
Richard Harvey organ
Grace Rossiter conductor
Tickets £13.00 | £1 students/children
Tickets are available from the FCS box office (020 7263 3358) FCS members or at the door. Tickets can also be purchased from Les Aldrich Music, 98 Fortis Green Road, N10 3HN or call 020 8883 5631.