HANDEL . BACH . PURCELL
ROY RASHBROOK: Conductor
DALE CHAMBERS: Leader, Strings and Continuo
Handel: Dixit Dominus
J.S.Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring | Sleepers, Wake! | Sheep may safely graze
Purcell: My heart is inditing
Tickets: £20 reserved | £15 unreserved
Venue: St Lawrence Church
Download event poster Box Office opens in late May.
About the performers
For the Festival Choir, we have brought together an ensemble of top professionals, conducted by tenor Roy Rashbrook, who has performed with some of Britain’s leading orchestras and choirs including The King’s Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the City of London Sinfonia, the London Mozart Players and the London Philharmonic Choir.
Roy, who lives in Surrey and also teaches, is a member of the choirs of Saint Paul’s Cathedral and The King’s Consort, as well as being conductor of the Guildford-based Chantry Singers and musical director of Hart Voices of Fleet.
Dale Chambers, our festival director for more than 20 years, is a violist and performs with many of the major orchestras in the UK. As a conductor, he has directed a number of choirs including several of the Leith Hill Festival Choirs. As an educationalist, Dale has been chair of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA) and been involved in high profile outreach projects nurturing a love of string playing in primary school children. Read a full profile of Dale in the About Us page.
About the composers and the work
The centrepiece of this concert is Handel’s thrilling ‘Dixit Dominus’, one of his finest works – and one of his earliest – scored for five solo singers, chorus and instruments and written during his youthful years while he was living in Italy. Dating from 1707, it is famous for establishing the reputation of the dazzlingly gifted 22-year-old Mr Handel.
The work is a setting of Psalm 110, which begins with the words Dixit Dominus, “The Lord Said”.
A brief history of Handel
All you ever wanted to know about Handel – the resources of the Handel Institute
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring is the most common English title of a piece of music derived from the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (“Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life”). Contrary to the common assumption, the violinist and composer Johann Schop, not Bach, composed the underlying chorale melody. Bach harmonised and orchestrated it.
Sleepers Awake is possibly Bach’s most famous cantata. The opening words contain a tune written by a Lutheran pastor, Philipp Nicolai.
Sheep May Safely Graze was originally written for a birthday celebration of Christian, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, near the court of Weimar where Bach was based.
PURCELL, 1659 – 1695
Henry Purcell, the greatest English baroque composer- and many would claim the greatest ever native composer – had a short but brilliant life in music. He died at the age of only 36. His anthem, My Life is Inditing, was written for the coronation of James II in 1685.
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