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West Sussex Philharmonic Choir performance this weekend

Horsham’s West Sussex Philharmonic Choir will be performing their autumn concert on Saturday (16 November) at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church in the Causeway. The programme will feature contemporary pieces from Ola Gjeilo and Morten Lauridsen as well as choral masterpieces from Rachmaninov and Fauré.

Ola Gjeilo was born in Norway and is now based in the US. He is renowned for his piano and choral works and a style that has been described as cinematic and evocative with a lush, harmonious sound. The choir will be singing Serenity, his setting of the Latin text O Magnum Mysterium for choir and cello.

The American composer Morten Lauridsen was awarded the National Medal of Arts “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide”. The choir have chosen to perform his Nocturnes, a series of four poems in French, Spanish and English addressing different aspects of the theme ‘Night’.

Sergei Rachmaninov’s Bogoroditse Devo is taken from his Vespers, composed in 1915. Sung in Russian, it is an intensely dramatic and powerful rendition of the Russian Orthodox version of Ave Maria.

Gabriel Fauré composed his Requiem in the late 1880’s and it was performed at his own funeral in 1924. He described how he had “instinctively sought to escape from what is thought to be right and proper … I wanted to write something different”. His Requiem is, therefore, notable for its serene and peaceful style and a distillation of some of the most beautiful melodies he ever composed.

Tickets for the concert, priced at £15 (concessions £7), are available from Waterstone’s, The Candy Box and The Horsham Piano Centre or on the door. For more information on the choir, please visit www.westsussexphilharmonicchoir.org.uk

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