Sacred music is usually heard in a church setting, but when Granta Chorale presents a sumptuous and hugely varied programme of sacred pieces at Saffron Hall on Sunday 14 May, the clear, warm acoustic of the hall will shine its own light on this wide-ranging music.
Bach’s 20-minute masterpiece Jesu, meine Freude features amid a host of other pieces from different eras. There are lively renaissance rhythms in Byrd’s Laudibus in Sanctis, pure Italian opera style in Verdi’s heartfelt homage to the Virgin Mary for women’s voices, and rich French 20th century harmonies in well-loved motets by Duruflé and Poulenc. These are all true choral classics, often heard on radio, but Granta Chorale also embraces newer repertoire in a sprinkling of pieces by current day composers.
Two popular pieces from James MacMillan’s Strathclyde Motets are O Radiant Dawn and Data Est Mihi Potestas. With roots closer to Saffron Walden, there’s Factus Est Repente (Suddenly there came a sound from heaven) from composer and choir member Sarah Cattley, while a new work from the choir’s conductor Janet Wheeler By Thee I will Abide briefly parallels some of the themes of Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude, ending with a soothing lullaby.
This concert will finish at approximately 4.45pm
MacMillan O Radiant Dawn
Poulenc Vinea electa mea
Duruflé Four Motets on Gregorian Themes
Bach Jesu, Meine Freude BWV.227
Byrd Laudibus in Sanctis
SL Cattley Factus Est Repente
Janet Wheeler Alleluia, I heard a voice
Verdi Ladi alla Vergine Maria
Britten Hymn to the Virgin
Janet Wheeler By Thee I will Abide
James MacMillan Data est mihi omnis potestas