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Oakfield Choir’s December Concert

Following on from the successful performance of Handel’s Joshua in May, Oakfield Choir return to Holy Trinity Church, Frome, this Saturday, 9th December, with two firm favourites from the choral repertoire guaranteed to delight dedicated fans and newcomers alike: Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Duruflé’s Requiem and Four Motets.

Joseph Haydn’s mass, originally entitled Missa in Angustiis (Mass for troubled times) was first performed in 1798 just as news emerged of Napoleon’s defeat by British forces, led by Admiral Nelson’s fleet, in the Battle of the Nile. Renamed Nelson Mass in honour of the victory it is arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition.

In total contrast, Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, premiered in 1947 and dedicated to the memory of his father, is a meditative piece thematically influenced by Gregorian chants in particular Mass for the Dead and thought to have been written in response to the Second World War. Duruflé said it reflected, “the anguish of man faced with the mystery of his final end” and its popularity is such that by the time of Durufle’s death in 1986 it was earning more in hire and performance fees than any other work by a contemporary French composer. The Four Motets, written later in 1960 and also influenced by Gregorian themes, are latin, liturgical texts scored for unaccompanied voices combining chant lines with contemporary harmonies.

The choir will be accompanied by organist, Peter King and soloists are Julia O’Connor (soprano), Marie Elliott (alto), Rupert Bevan (tenor), and Niall Hoskin (bass) and all led by Oakfield’s musical director, Neil Moore. The performance starts 7.30pm. Tickets £12.50 (under 18 free) purchased from choir members, Hunting Raven Books, or reserved by telephone on 464839. Tickets may be available on the door subject to prior demand.

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