Latour Festival Choir 25 July 2008

Concert de musique sacre

Vendredi 25 July 2008

Eglise de St Gauderic

Choeur du Festival, 16th Festival International de Musique et des Arts de Latour de France

Messe Solonnelle Rossini
Cantique de Jean Racine Faure

Chef de choeur John Bethell
Accompagnateur Christopher Baxter

Karen Johnson Soprano
Adrienne Murray Mezzo Soprano
Declan Kelly Tenor
Albert Buttigieg Baryton

JOHN BETHELL MBE is well-know in the international music scene. He was music librarian for BBC North for many years and travelled widely with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1975 he has managed the International Festival of Music and the Arts at Port Erin on the Isle of Man, and has led the Festival at La Tour de France since 1993. He was musical director of Oldham Choral Society until 1998, and retains links with the choir. He was awarded the MBE by the Queen in 2001 for services to music.

KAREN JOHNSON studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Laura Sarti, and in her career so far has sung many of the major soprano solos in the oratorio repertoire. She is a regular recitalist of English and French songs, as well as German Lieder. She has also taken many of the leading roles in the operas including Mimi in La Boheme (Verdi), Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Venus in Tannhauser (Wagner). She has sung in New York as well as Sydney and Melbourne, Australia and is a regular with the Festival at La Tour de France.

ADDRIENNE MURRAY was born on the Isle of Man and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. She has sung the major mezzo soprano roles in a wide range of opera from Purcell and Handel to Tchaikovsky and Verdi and appeared at many of the UK music festivals. She particularly enjoys the great roles in oratorios including Elijah (Mendelssohn) and Messiah (Handel). She has also sung in many places in France, Spain, Poland and Greece, and returns to the Festival at La Tour de France for the second time.

DECLAN KELLY is an Irish tenor who studied both in Dublin and in London. He has sung a wide variety of tenor opera roles touring across Europe, including England, Ireland, Portugal, and Denmark. Among his oratorio projects hw sang Mozert’s Reqiem in Madrid and Britten’s Saint Nicolas in Dublin, and has recoded Charpentier’s Te Deum for Deutsche Gramophon. He returns to the Festival at La Tour de France for the second time.

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

Gabriel Fauré was born into a prosperous family in Pamiers in the Ariege, but showing early musical talent he was sent as a boy to school in Paris, where he lived for most of his life. His early career as a composer was not successful and he supported himself and his family by working as an organist, choirmaster and music teacher. Later in life, however, he was appointed to teach at the Paris Conservatoire, and in 1920 received the Grand-Croix of the Légion d’Honneur.

The Cantique de Jean Racine is an early work completed when he was aged 20, but demonstrates his mastery of the musical language of the Romantic Age and the lyrical, flowing style which became the hallmark of later French composers. It won the first prize in a competition in 1865 and is still much loved by English choirs. Jean Racine was the 17th century poet who wrote the text.

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Gioachino Rossini was born of a musical family in Pesaro, Italy. His father was a horn player and his mother a singer. He was a talented music student, devoted to the music of Mozart, and soon became interested in opera. His first opera Tancredi, was premiered in 1813, and launched a successful career, with enduring works such as The Barber of Seville and William Tell. He retired from writing operas in 1829, but composed a number of sacred works in his remaining years.
Petite Messe Solennelle was written in 1863, and could scarcely be characterised as either little or solemn. It follows the standard liturgical pattern of the mass, and is well loved in the choral repertoire.

The movements are as follows:

  • Kyrie
  • Gloria:
    • Gloria in excelsis Deo
    • Gratias agimus tibi
    • Domine Deus
    • Qui tollis peccata mundi
    • Quoniam tu solus sanctus
    • Cum Sancto Spiritu
  • Credo:
    • Credo in unum Deum
    • Crucifixus
    • Et resurrexit
  • Preludio religioso
  • Ritornello
  • Sanctus
  • Benedictus
  • Agnus Dei