News
Keeping you updated with the latest news
 

2020

9 January 2020
New Appointment for our MD
6 January 2020
Choral Evensong in Oxford

2019

3 December 2019
Stephen Cleobury 1948-2019
24 November 2019
Bach, Brahms, Reger - a moving tribute
23 September 2019
Over 300 for Fourth Rutter Day
30 July 2019
Evensong in Westminster Abbey
24 June 2019
Berlioz Requiem : a NBC first
29 May 2019
Evensong in Winchester Cathedral
20 April 2019
On Tour 2019 : The Netherlands
17 February 2019
The Colours of Mozart
25 January 2019
Bach Choir Burns Supper

2018

11 November 2018
Heroes for Peace - a fitting tribute
25 October 2018
Evensong for the Lord Lieutenant
21 October 2018
I was glad! A feast of Parry
1 September 2018
2019/2020 Season Launched
12 July 2018
Evensong in Worcester Cathedral
24 June 2018
French Fireworks! From Widor to Castagnet
28 April 2018
Rejoice! The UK and USA come together
11 April 2018
Evensong for Her Majesty the Queen
11 March 2018
Over 200 Singers for Mahler's Resurrection

2017

2016

2015

2014

 

French Fireworks! From Widor to Castagnet

A Network of French Composers

Yesterday, the choir pulled off a demanding programme of works celebrating the great heritage of French organist-composers, beginning in 1879 with Charles-Marie Widor, and ending in 2007 with Yves Castagnet. The concert included two massive Masses - the first, the Messe solennelle of Louis Vierne began the concert in thundering C sharp minor, gradually giving way to the heavenly clouds of C sharp major at the very end of the Agnus Dei. The second Mass, the Messe ’Salve Regina’ by Yves Castagenet (almost) closed the evening’s music-making. Both of these Masses are written for large choir and not one but <two> organs, and we were delighted that the virtuoso organist, Simon Hogan, was on hand to reduce the two organ parts onto one! It was a particular privilege to sing the Castagnet, having met him when he accompanied our singing when we were on tour at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris (2013). The real showstopping moment is in the Sanctus, when the organist plays seemingly hundreds of notes in every single bar, from beginning-to-end … simply stunning.,
 
Louis Vierne at the Organ Console
 
The Audience Assembles

The smaller choral works on offer came from the pens of Francis Poulenc and Marcel Dupré, and Simon Hogan got the opportunity to shine in two (and a half) organ solos; the Litanies of Jehan Alain, and the memorial to Jehan Alain, Prélude et Fugue sur le nom d’Alain, by Maurice Duruflé. Remarkable virtuosity was on display from beginning to end. It was mentioned earlier that the concert almost closed with the Castagnet, and that there were two and a half organ solos. Well, the concert ended with a well-deserved encore - Widor’s famous Toccata, not only played by Simon, but with some additional choral moments, designed by the late Sir David Willcocks.

Yves Castagnet at the Grande Orgue of Notre Dame