Local community singing group The Edwin James Festival Choir and their orchestra, have commenced preparations for their next concert, the Faure Requiem, which is being promoted as a ‘Come and Sing’ rehearsal and concert one- day challenge.
With an ever-increasing following, this popular choir are doing something different by throwing open their doors to invite other singers in the area to join them and their orchestra to rehearse and perform on Good Friday, 19th April at St James the Great Church in East Ham Road, Littlehampton. The overall cost for the day will be £10 with registration taking place at 10am when the music will be given out
Under the Musical Direction and Co-Founder of the Edwin James Festival Choir James Rushman, the choir and visiting choristers only, will rehearse the challenging but beautiful Faure Requiem during the morning from 10.30am to 1pm. After a break for lunch and time to walk round the town, the rehearsals will resume with the orchestra in the afternoon from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. There will be time to enjoy a welcome break with tea and cakes provided before the doors open to the public from 6.45pm with the concert scheduled to start at 7.30pm. Entrance to the concert is free for the public, but a retiring collection will be made in support of three worthwhile local charities, St. Wilfrid’s Hospice, St. Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House.
Gabriel Faure was born in May 1845 in Parmiers in the middle region of the Pyrenees in the South of France. His musical talent was evident from a very early age, and he went on to study organ, piano and choral music at the Niedermeyer School in Paris. He worked as an organist and choirmaster until 1877 when he took over Saint-Sans position as choirmaster at The Madeleine in Paris where he remained for 20 years. Faure also taught at the Conservatoire where he was appointed Director in 1905 with pupils including Ravel. Sadly by the time he became a successful composer and, what was a pivotal figure in French musical circles, he started to become deaf. He composed his Requiem in D minor, Opus 48 between 1887 and 1890. It was possibly the death of his father in 1885 and his mother’s two years later triggered the composition, although he had already started the work by then. The majority of the text is in Latin except for the Kyrie which in Koine Greek as was customary at that time. He did not set the Gradual and Tract sections of the Mass nor the Benedictus conclusion of the Sanctus, but followed the French Baroque tradition setting the Requiem sequence (the Dies Irae) but only Pie Jesu. Faure slightly altered other texts including the Introit, Agnus Dei and in Paradisum but went on to substantially alter the Offertory. Faure also added two texts from the Order of the Burial, Libera Me and In Paradisum. The work was first premiered in 1888 in La Madeleine in Paris for a funeral. In 1924, Faure died at the age of 79 and the Requiem in its full orchestral version was performed at his funeral, but it was not until 1936 that the first performance in England was heard. Written in seven movements the work is scored for soprano and baritone soloists. Pat Franklin and David Bathurst from the Edwin James Festival Choir will take on those roles.
Places to attend the ‘Come and Sing’ with us day can be pre-booked by individuals or small groups from other choirs in the area by telephoning 01243 582330 or alternatively by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Numbers are limited to 70 singers due to the size of the location. It is recommended that interest is registered if possible before the day to avoid any disappointment.
Information provided by Madeleine Wadley for Edwin James Festival Choir
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