Previous Concerts (from 2016)

Click on the image to download Rossini                   Petite Messe Solennelle
César Franck       Prélude, Fugue & Variation                                           

Saturday 16th June 2018  7.30pm

St Mary's Church, Lace Market. Nottingham

Paul Hale   Conductor & Piano
Anne Page   Harmonium
Michael Overbury   Piano
Soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music

This (as he described it) “poor little mass” was written by the 71-year-old Rossini in 1863, and performed in its original form the following year in Paris. Thirty-four years had passed since his last opera, Guillaume Tell. Yet the mass emerged as a work of inspiration and passion, a diverse series of beguiling movements, from slightly sinister counterpoint in the Kyrie to a flamboyant “Domine Deus” for the tenor soloist. Its great melodies have assured its continued popularity with choirs and audiences. Unusually, Rossini makes use of a harmonium which contrasts with the often more angular sound of the piano. The final Agnus Dei begins in a restless, melancholy vein, and moves through a lyrical alto solo, returning to the halting and uncertain rhythms which reflect the coexistence of doubt and faith.

 

 

 

Click on the image to download

Click on the image to download

J S Bach     St John Passion

Saturday 24th March 2018  7.30pm

St Mary's Church, Lace Market, Nottingham.

Paul Hale   Conductor
Ruairi Bowen   Evangelist
Stephen Cooper  Christus
Clare Lloyd-Griffiths  Soprano
Jessica Gillingwater   Mezzo-soprano
David de Winter   Tenor
Greg Skidmore   Bass

First performed in 1724, Bach’s masterpiece is based on St John’s account of Christ’s trial and crucifixion; although less frequently performed than the St Matthew Passion, a strong narrative combined with complexity, drama and beauty in the arias, choruses and chorales make this a compelling work.

REVIEW

To read William Ruff's review of our most recent concert , please click on the link to Nottingham Post's online publication https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/music-nightlife/nottingham-bach-choir-deliver-one-1382994

NBC_November_2017_Flyer (2)

Handel   Saul

Saturday 25th November 2017, 7.30pm

St Mary’s Church, Lace Market

Paul Hale  Conductor

Katherine Crompton    Soprano
Roderick Morris            Counter tenor
Thomas Herford            Tenor
Colin Campbell               Bass

Composed in 1738, Handel’s splendid oratorio was designed to impress, with its rich orchestral colours, its varied and dramatic choruses and its contrasting characters who develop through the piece. The wonderful libretto by Charles Jennens is based on the Old Testament story of King Saul and the rise of David his successor. The oratorio tells of the terrible jealousy of the old king as the young David appears at court and is subsequently victorious in battle. Handel was inspired to write some of his finest music, using a wide range of instruments and depicting
both public happenings and scenes of intimate feeling and conflict.
The oratorio makes reference to some interesting themes of the times, showing the Biblical characters to have an emotional domestic life with which the audience would identify. David himself, having the power of Music, is able not only to soothe pain but also to unite the peoples in harmony. An experience not to be missed!

Click on the image to download

Click on the image to download

Mendelssohn   Saint Paul

Saturday 1st April 2017   7.30pm   St Mary's Church, Lace Market. 

Conductor  Paul Hale

Soloists  Alison Rose,  Andrew Tortise and Marcus Farnsworth

Virtuoso Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy had already composed several highly regarded large scale works when he was commissioned to compose his first oratorio at the comparatively young age of 22 years. His setting of an account of the life of St Paul, as taken from the Acts of the Apostles, is suitably dramatic.

As a renowned Bach revivalist, Mendelssohn’s writing was influenced by Bach’s Passions and also the works Handel and Haydn. When first premièred in 1836, in Dusseldorf, the work was well received by audience and critics alike. Such was its popularity, within eighteen months the work had been performed on 50 occasions. Mendelssohn extensively revised the work, conducting it four months later in England and in the USA within a year.  Although this masterpiece of orchestral writing became less popular in the early part of the 20th century, the classical elegance and melodic beauty of the work still captivates audiences today.

 

Click on on the image to download

Click on on the image to download

JS Bach     Christmas Oratorio BWV 248    Parts I, II, V & VI

Saturday 26th November 2016   7.30 pm     St Mary's Church, Lace Market

Conductor  Roger Bryan

Soloists    Ruth Provost, Martha McLorinan, Peter Davoren & Andrew Ashwin

In late 1734, and in his eleventh year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, Bach composed a major new cycle of six cantatas. The cantatas were to be performed at the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche on six feast days from Christmas Day to Epiphany.

The Christmas Oratorio is closer to Bach’s Passions in form, using a tenor Evangelist as narrator, with arias, choruses and chorales illustrating and reflecting on the Gospel texts. Much of the Christmas Oratorio is founded on music composed for earlier cantatas, both sacred and secular. The celebratory cantatas composed for the royal family of Dresden in 1733 are reworked to great effect. In the opening chorus, the bright orchestration of these earlier works is heard accompanied by voices heralding the birth of Christ with the words “Jauchzet! frohlocket (“Shout for joy! Exult!”) with timpani and trumpets echoing the statement. From its exultant opening to the exquisite Pastoral Sinfonia, the spectacular and colourful orchestration ensures Christmas Oratorio remains an audience favourite.

Review by William Ruff, Nottingham Post, November 2016.

Yes, I know: the cards, calendars and chocolate Santas have been in the local garden centre since early August. But now the real festive season can begin. The Nottingham Bach Choir have sung their patron composer's Christmas Oratorio.

The outstanding feature of their performance on Saturday was its story-telling. The Christmas narrative of baby, manger, shepherds, wise men etc was delivered with propulsive energy by tenor Peter Davoren, whose words seemed to take flight as they brought the familiar bible story to life. His fellow, similarly eloquent soloists were Ruth Provost (soprano), Martha McLorinan (mezzo) and Andrew Ashwin (bass), all of whom transmitted the text as if Bach's German were not only their native language but also that of the audience. And very stylish they were too, enunciating clearly and carefully moulding phrases. Breath control in the mezzo aria Schlafe, mein Liebster must have been a challenge - but its effect was both tender and poignant.


The Bach Choir was on sprightly form too. It's not easy to keep choral textures clear in the reverberant acoustic of St Mary's - but under conductor Roger Bryan they sang as if Bach's notes had been swirling in their bloodstream for years. Their chorales had touching simplicity whilst the big choruses were light on their feet and brightly, bouncily confident and assertive. They looked and sounded particularly impassioned at the start of Part VI as they painted a vivid picture of sharp-clawed enemies snorting with rage.

In this they were aided by some top-notch ensemble and solo playing from the orchestra. The continuo section offered subtle and tireless support whilst arias were coloured by incisive contributions from, amongst others, solo violin and oboes. And amongst the loud cheers at the end, perhaps the loudest were reserved for the dazzling trumpeters.

Spring concert 2016

Click on the image to downloadSouthwell Minster

Saturday March 19th 2016 7.30pm

J S Bach   Mass in B Minor

J S Bach’s Mass in B Minor is undoubtedly his final and crowning masterpiece. During his latter years, Bach embarked on a systematic summarization of all his work, adding innovative concepts to some of his finest compositions. Bach assembled an untitled compilation of four movements 1. Missa (Kyrie & Gloria) (1733); 2.Symbolum Nicenum (Credo) (1742-45 and earlier work); 3. Sanctus (1724) 4. Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei & Dona nobis pacem (1740’s) into a grand setting of the Latin mass. Unsuitable for use in a liturgical context due to its scale and complexity, (the later named) Mass in B Minor received its first performance in entirety more than one hundred years after Bach’s death.

From the intense Kyrie to the triumphal closing Dona nobis pacem,
Bach’s final chapter is a glorious summation of his life, faith and work; one which transcends all boundaries

 

NOTTINGHAM BACH CHOIR
CONCERT SEASON 2017-18

GF HANDEL
SAUL
Saturday 25th November 2017
St Mary's Church. Lacemarket.

JS BACH
St JOHN PASSION
Saturday 24th March 2018
St Mary's Church, Lacemarket.

ROSSINI
PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE
Saturday 16th June 2018
St Mary's Church, Lacemarket,