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Platinum Choral Workshop: Immortal Fire

St Mary's, BatterseaBattersea Church Road, London, Greater London, SW11 3NA, United Kingdom
On Saturday 14 November 2020 at 10:30

Being so close to St Cecilia’s day and Benjamin Britten’s birthday (22nd November), we will immerse ourselves in the immortal fire of Britten’s wonderful ode to the patron saint of music. The piece is a setting of a text by Britten’s friend and colleague, W.H. Auden – however, this text is the last of his that Britten set, as by this point their friendship was wearing thin. Auden was in the habit of making his feelings about Britten’s personal development known, and some have conjectured that parts of this poem are thinly veiled references to Britten’s character, specifically ‘There is no creature/Whom I belong to, / Whom I could wrong ... I shall never be / Different. Love me!’ Despite this, Britten – after a spell of creative block – set the text extremely evocatively, and it is both a challenge and a joy to sing. Alongside this, we will sing two prayerful examples of the work of two of England’s finest composers. Thomas Tallis’ O Nata Lux, a motet for the Feast of the Transfiguration, is a small gem – its intimate setting abounds with false relations and other dissonances, depicting the wonder of the vision that the disciples received. Lastly, Henry Purcell’s ‘noble fragment’ Hear my Prayer, the brevity of which only adds to its effectiveness and emotional intensity.

© Luc Viatour
© Luc Viatour
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