French choral music

Saturday October19
7.30 pm
Temple Church
London EC4Y 7BB

Tickets £16(£14 concessions)
available on the door, in advance online here
or phone 07812 599340

Conductor: Greg Morris
Organ: Daniel Moult
Mezzo: Joanna Harries
Cello: Sophie Harris

Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem was completed in 1947, and was his longest and most substantial work, becoming a firm favourite of the choral repertoire. Gregorian chant melodies of the burial Mass are skilfully assimilated, sometimes prominently, often subtly, as the drama unfolds. While Gregorian chant is in its essence the purest form of western music, purged of much emotion, Duruflé’s sensuous harmonies suffuse every note with feeling.

The composer’s Messe Cum Jubilo is Duruflé’s last major composition, dating from 1966. Also based on Gregorian chant melodies, the work calls for a choir of baritones singing in unison.

In his Litanies à la Vierge Noire, Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) returned to the Catholic faith of his youth, shortly after learning of the death in a car accident of his friend, the composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud. Meditating on the fragility of the human condition, and drawn once again to the life of the spirit, Poulenc hoped the work – for female choir and organ – would recreate the atmosphere of ‘peasant devotion’.

The Cantique de Jean Racine is a setting of words by the 17th century dramatist and poet Jean Racine. It was Gabriel Fauré’s first significant composition, written in 1865 whilst he was a student at the École Niedermeyer, the ‘École de musique religieuse et classique’. Fauré went on to write a good deal of religious music – most notably the Requiem, written in 1888 – but of the shorter sacred pieces it is the Cantique that has particularly captured the affections of choirs and audiences.

Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir, under the expert direction of conductor Greg Morris, returns to Temple Church for this performance of French choral music, accompanied by Daniel Moult on the church’s acclaimed Harrison and Harrison organ.

Please note: entry to this concert is via Tudor Street (junction with Temple Lane). Nearest tube: Blackfriars.

A Choral Christmas

Nine centuries of seasonal songs in a 12th-century setting
Saturday December 7th
7.30 pm
St Bartholomew The Great
Cloth Fair
West Smithfield

Tickets on sale soon

Temple Winter Festival Messiah – 14 December.
More details & tickets here.

Battersea Dog & Cats Christmas concerts – Thursday 5 December & Friday 13 December
More details & tickets here.