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City of Leicester Singers

Saturday 16th November, 2024, 7.00pm




With 4tissimo String Quartet

In this Concert the Choir and Quartet hope to convey the inspiration which produced the composition of this music into our performance. It should also make clear that inspiration can come from a wide variety of sources.

Bizet composed his Te Deum when he was twenty years old and living in Rome as a result of winning a Music Award. He was obviously full of enthusiasm and keen to progress as a composer of religious music. He entered the Te Deum for another important Music Prize and although he didn't win it the energy, enthusiasm and inspiration of the piece still shines through.

The Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed at the order of George II to celebrate the end of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1749 so Handel shouldn't have had any difficulty finding the inspiration to compose a piece for such a prestigious state occasion. For the first performance the King, much to Handel's displeasure, insisted on only wind instruments being used but tonight we are pleased that the String Quartet has the stage alone.

The three short items which complete the first part of the Concert start with more triumphal music in "The Heavens are Telling" and then the mood changes through the Ave Verum by Gounod to the contemplation and reverence of the Cantique by Faure which paves the way for this mood to be continued after the Interval. Faure was not devout but he wrote "Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated, from beginning to end, by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest". He wrote this Requiem a short time after the deaths of both of his parents and described it as "A lullaby of death". However the work is permeated by a sense of reverence and ends with the uplifting and inspiring "In Paradisum".

Conducted by Richard Archer.
Organist: John Pye

Tickets £12, under 16s free, are available:
From choir members, or on the door on the day of the concert

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