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16th March 2016: Handel’s Messiah

Handel's Messiah LeafletWednesday 16th March 2016 7.45 pm

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Parkgate Rd, Chester, CH1 4AG

Conductor: Martin Bussey

Organ: Andrew Dean

This performance, conducted by Martin Bussey, will be with organ accompaniment by Andrew Dean, our associate conductor. In the week leading up to Palm Sunday this will be a “Passiontide” Messiah but still with many of your favourite arias and choruses. As this is a week-night (our normal rehearsal evening), the concert will begin at 7.45pm and doors will open at 7.00pm.

No ticket required – admission will be free but at the end of the concert you will be invited to give what you feel the performance was worth.

27th February 2016: Haydn and CPE Bach

Saturday 27 February 2016 7.30 pm

St Mary’s Without-the-Walls, Handbridge, Chester CH4 7HL

Haydn Nelson Mass and CPE Bach Magnificat with orchestra.

Conductor: Martin Bussey
Soprano: Cally Youdell
Alto: Joanna Harries
Tenor: Thomas Kelly
Bass: Andrew Davies

Adults £15
Students and Under 18s £5

THE WORKS

HAYDN’S NELSON MASS

We don’t know for sure how Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, which can be translated “Mass in times of trouble and fear”, came to be known as Nelson Mass but, in 1798, when Haydn wrote it, Europe was embroiled in the Napoleonic wars and times were certainly troubled. The news that Napoleon had been defeated in the Battle of the Nile by British Forces led by Admiral Horatio Nelson came just at the time of the first performance of this work and, in the mood of the time, it became known popularly as the Nelson Mass. In 1800 Nelson and Lady Hamilton visited the Esterházy palace and may even have heard the work performed. Haydn’s biographer H. C. Robbins Landon writes that this mass is “arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition”.

CPE BACH’S MAGNIFICAT

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the second surviving son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, and his first wife, Maria Barbara. The most famous and prolific of the Bach sons, he was educated with his brother Wilhelm Friedemann who was four years older, at a Lutheran seminary in Cöthen, and later in Leipzig at the Thomasschule where his father was Cantor of St. Thomas’ Church. It is said that from the age of eleven he could play all his father’s keyboard pieces at sight. He studied law at the Universities of Leipzig and Frankfurt where he financially supported himself by giving keyboard lessons and by composing for or directing public concerts. In later years he held positions of great influence in Berlin and Hamburg and was widely esteemed as a keyboard player and theorist.

It was during his Berlin years that, in 1749, he composed his only important church work, the Magnificat. It takes its text from Mary’s canticle from St. Luke’s Gospel (Chapter 1, v. 46–55) and according to a pupil at the Thomasschule it was performed in Leipzig while his father was still alive – sometime before the end of July 1750. The work contains a number of unmistakable borrowings from his father’s Magnificat: the melodies in the Fecit potentium and Deposuit are, for example, almost identical. However, the choruses take second place to the solo vocal numbers (which quantitatively, too, predominate) with their lyrical, faintly opera-like elements. Nevertheless, the final chorus, Sicut erat in principio, has a recurring theme which has often been compared with that of the Kyrie in Mozart’s Requiem, finally concluding with an extended Amen, 183 bars long.

Adults £15
Students and Under 18s £5

Come and Sing Hadyn Nelson Mass advert

30th January 2016: Come and Sing Haydn’s Nelson Mass

Saturday 30 January 2016

All Saints Church, Hoole, Chester CH2 3HZ

Calling all singers! Join Chester’s finest chamber choir to rehearse and perform Haydn’s Nelson Mass, described by Haydn’s chief biographer, H. C. Robbins Landon, as “arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition”.

TIMETABLE

1.00 pm – 2.00 pm Tea and coffee available.
Singers to register, collect ordered hire music & be seated.
2.00 pm – 4.15 pm Rehearsal with Martin Bussey
and Graham Eccles
4.15 pm – 5.00 pm Break.
Tea/coffee and cake in the church hall
5.00 pm – 6.30 pm Performance.
Friends and family are welcome at no charge.

THE WORK – HAYDN’S NELSON MASS

We don’t know for sure how Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, which can be translated “Mass in times of trouble and fear”, came to be known as Nelson Mass but, in 1798, when Haydn wrote it, Europe was embroiled in the Napoleonic wars and times were certainly troubled. The news that Napoleon had been defeated in the Battle of the Nile by British Forces led by Admiral Horatio Nelson came just at the time of the first performance of this work and, in the mood of the time, it became known popularly as the Nelson Mass. In 1800 Nelson and Lady Hamilton visited the Esterházy palace and may even have heard the work performed. Haydn’s biographer H. C. Robbins Landon writes that this mass is “arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition”.

GETTING THERE

This year we are holding our workshop at All Saints Church, Hoole (CH2 3HZ). This is the church with the spire on Hoole Road, Chester. It has excellent facilities and is less than 10 minutes walk from Chester railway station. There is very limited parking at the church which we would like to save that for people with reduced mobility – please pre-book a place, if needed. There is also parking in the streets around the church as well as a number of small car parks.

We are very grateful to Hoole United Reformed Church (CH2 3NT) for giving us permission to use its large car park for this event. The United Reformed Church is on your right as you drive towards Chester from the M53/A55. It is then only a 5-minute walk to All Saints. If you do use this car park, we would ask that you make a donation of £2 towards the United Reformed Church’s programme of modernisation.

FEES AND REFRESHMENTS

Workshop fee £15.00 (full-time students £10). This includes coffee/tea on arrival and tea/coffee and a selection of homemade cake in the interval before the performance.

Hire copies of the score can be ordered in advance for £2.00, collected at registration, and must be returned after the performance.

Regrettably, no refunds after 16 January 2016.

If you require further information, please contact Cath Glazzard by email to cath.glazzard[at]gmail.com or ring Cath Glazzard 01244 383746 or Margaret Newman 01829 770104.

HOW TO BOOK:

  1. Download a booking form and send with a cheque by post – Haydn Nelson Mass Booking Form (Event over, booking form no longer available)

 

19th December 2015: Carols by Candlelight

2015 Carol Concert LeafletSaturday 19 December 2015 7.30 pm

St Mary’s Church, Handbridge, Chester
CH4 7H
Thinking of refreshing your Christmas tree ornaments this year?  Chester Bach Singers looks forward to giving audiences fresh sparkle and colour in its 2015 Christmas concerts as it presents new arrangements of much-loved carols alongside the best of newly-composed carols by some of the most tuneful and appealing choral composers around.

Come along and enjoy Bob Chilcott’s new foot-tapping arrangement of On Christmas Night all Christians Sing, alongside Paul Leddington Wright’s energetic version of We Three Kings of Orient are and Mack Wilberg’s tinsel-laden background to Ding Dong! Merrily on high.  These are set alongside Chester-born composer Howard Skempton’s There is no rose, Will Todd’s jazz-harmonised My Lord is come and Thomas Hewitt-Jones’ hauntingly beautiful carol What Child is this.  All combined with the customary traditional carols for you to join in.

In the first half of our Handbridge concert this year, CBS is delighted to be joined by the Movers and Shakers Choir from the Neuro Therapy Centre, Chester.  This partnership signals a new venture in joining with other groups in the community in a practical way to share music making.  As well as enjoying the choir’s own music under the direction of Pam Newton, CBS and the Movers and Shakers will end the first half with a joint rendition of Irving Berlin’s evergreen White Christmas – and we expect to hear the audience crooning along!

 

This year our retiring collection will be in aid of:

the_neuro_therapy_centre_logo

The Neuro Therapy Centre

donate_to_neuro_therapy_centre

Donate to the Neuro Therapy Centre Chester

13th December 2015: Carols by Candlelight

2015 Carol Concert Leaflet

Sunday 13 December 2015 7.30 pm

St Alban’s Church, Tattenhall CH3 9QE

Thinking of refreshing your Christmas tree ornaments this year?  Chester Bach Singers looks forward to giving audiences fresh sparkle and colour in its 2015 Christmas concerts as it presents new arrangements of much-loved carols alongside the best of newly-composed carols by some of the most tuneful and appealing choral composers around.

Come along and enjoy Bob Chilcott’s new foot-tapping arrangement of On Christmas Night all Christians Sing, alongside Paul Leddington Wright’s energetic version of We Three Kings of Orient are and Mack Wilberg’s tinsel-laden background to Ding Dong! Merrily on high.  These are set alongside Chester-born composer Howard Skempton’s There is no rose, Will Todd’s jazz-harmonied My Lord is come and Thomas Hewitt-Jones’ hauntingly beautiful carol What Child is this.  All combined with the customary traditional carols for you to join in.

 

This year our retiring collection will be in aid of:

the_neuro_therapy_centre_logo

The Neuro Therapy Centre

donate_to_neuro_therapy_centre

Donate to the Neuro Therapy Centre Chester

Poster for October 2015 Concert

24th October 2015: Music for Remembrance

Saturday 24 October 2015 7.30pm

St Werburgh’s Church, Chester CH1 1QJ

Music for Remembrance including Duruflé’s Requiem and Parry’s Songs of Farewell.

Remembrance is very much the theme for our first concert of the 2015-16 Season which continues the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War with a moving concert of Music for Remembrance in the run-up to Armistice Day.

Duruflé’s Requiem is an ethereal and stunningly beautiful work. Interestingly, in 1976, Duruflé and his wife gave an organ recital in Chester Cathedral as part of the celebrations on the completion of the organ rebuild. We wonder if any of you were there?

By contrast, Hermione Roff’s Anthem of Loss is a more contemporary take on the same conflict. A former member of the Chester Bach Singers, Hermione, who now lives in Lancashire, wrote the piece especially for a WWI centenary concert at Lancaster Priory last year. Chester Bach Singers are very much looking forward to performing her composition and are delighted that she plans to be at the concert.

The programme will also include Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell. Composed towards the end of Parry´s life, and in the midst of the conflict and desolation of the Great War, Songs of Farewell is a series of motets set to poems by some of the greatest British poets such as Henry Vaughan and John Donne, and is widely acknowledged as a masterpiece of unaccompanied choral writing.

The choir will be joined by Graham Eccles on organ and Ruth Watson for the oboe solo in Anthem of Loss.

Rebecca Lea

Rebecca completed her MMus with Distinction at the Royal Northern College of Music. Previous to this she studied at The Queen’s College, Oxford, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Recent solo performances include Poulenc’s La voix humaine at the Purcell Room, Judith Weir’s The Consolations of Scholarship at The Sage, Gateshead, King Harald’s Saga at the Wigmore Hall and William Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms Lates Series. She has appeared as a soloist in concert and on BBC Radio 3 with Manchester Camerata, Northern Sinfonia, The Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10.

She gave her first solo performance at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2011, performing Gary Carpenter’s One Million Tiny Operas about Britain and at the Lake District Summer Music Festival in 2012 in the newly-devised production The Mask Behind the Face.

Opera roles include Elle (La voix humaine), Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Cis (Albert Herring), Susanna(Le Nozze di Figaro), The Governess (The Turn of the Screw) and Venus (The Judgement of Paris). She recently played the role of Paula in the newly commissioned work, Amy’s Last Dive, by Cheryl Frances Hoad, with the company Wingbeats as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, touring to Leeds and Bridlington Spa Theatre.

She also works as a freelance  consort and ensemble singer  with the BBC Singers, Britten Sinfonia Voices, Buxton Opera Festival Chorus, Cries of London, the NDR Radio Choir in Hamburg, Howard Goodall’s Enchanted Voices, Platinum Consort, as well as with many of the professional church choirs in London. She is also busy as an oratorio soloist throughout the UK.

Rebecca has been the grateful recipient of the Oxford Lieder Festival Scholarship, the RNCM Contemporary Music Prize, the RNCM Kate Snape Award and the Liverpool Opera Circle Bursary.

Rebecca is also Co-Artistic Director of the classical music theatre company Re:Sound, with whom she has performed at various venues across the UK, including Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, The Royal Albert Hall, the Shulman Auditorium, Oxford, and the RNCM Studio Theatre. Their latest production, Battles Within and Without, will tour to King’s Place, London, in 2013.

Rebecca Lea’s website is www.rebeccalea.co.uk

Appearances with Chester Bach Singers

Katie Bray

British mezzo-soprano, Katie Bray is fast establishing a colourful international career, most recently engaged as Charlotte Werther in the 2014 Grimeborn Festival. That year, she made her solo début with Garsington Opera as Emma in Offenbach’s Vert Vert, directed by Martin Duncan and conducted by David Parry. Other recent operatic roles include Lazuli L’Étoile with New Sussex Opera, cover Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro in McVicar’s production at ROH, and NancyAlbert Herring with Opera North.

This season, Katie makes her solo début with English National Opera in Joanna Lee’s The Way Back Home at the Young Vic Theatre, and in 2015, she will join Opera Holland Park as Mallika Lakmé and Opera North as Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Katie is also a keen recitalist, and has performed in prestigious venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, The Forge, the Holywell Music Room and St George’s, Hanover Square. She has given recitals in many song festivals including the City of London Festival, the London English Song Festival and the Oxford Lieder Festival.

Other recent highlights include a recording of Zemlinsky’s Opus 13 with Trevor Pinnock, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in the Loch Shiel Spring Festival.

Katie graduated as a Karaviotis Scholar from the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music, and was awarded the 2012 Principal’s Prize. Taught by Elizabeth Ritchie and Iain Ledingham, she won First Prize in the Academy’s prestigious Richard Lewis Singing Competition in 2011.

Her website is www.katieemilybray.com

Appearances with Chester Bach Singers

Tom Kelly

Tom became a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral aged 7 where he sang for six years under John Scott. He read Music at The University of Manchester where he studied with Martin Bussey. He was a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral and a regular member of the Daily Service Singers on BBC Radio 4.

Since graduating, Tom has been a Lay Clerk of New College Oxford, and has sung with a range of professional choirs including Ex Cathedra, The Sixteen, La Nuova Musica, The Fieri Consort, Britten Sinfonia Voices, The Gabrieli Consort, and Chapelle du Roi. He looks forward to upcoming engagements with Polyphony and The Marian Consort.

As a soloist, Tom has regularly performed a range of concert works including Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Monteverdi’s Vespers, and a particular highlight has been performing the Evangelist of The St. John Passion.

On stage, Tom has performed the role of Jupiter in Semele, and the Mudlark in Mudlark Dances, a setting of music by Monteverdi commissioned as a groundbreaking touring opera for Spitalfields Music with performances designed specifically for babies aged 6 months to 2 years old.

Appearances with Chester Bach Singers

Graham McCusker

Graham was born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised in Paisley. Born into a musical family (his father an opera singer with Scottish Opera and his mother a singing teacher) he began singing at the age of five as a chorister in the Paisley Abbey Choir. During his 16 years in the choir, he became Head Boy at the age of nine and a Choral Scholar at age 15. As a treble, Graham sang with the Scottish Opera Children’s Chorus in productions of The Queen of Spades, The Cunning Little Vixen, La Bohème, Tosca and Hansel and Gretel. He also played Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Miles in the RSAMD’s production of The Turn of the Screw. Whilst singing as a treble Graham also studied the piano, and when his voice changed, he continued with piano studies at the Junior RSAMD.
Graham gained a place at Douglas Academy Music School in Milngavie for his final two years of school, studying voice with Ruth Dean and piano with Anna Rastopchina. During this time he sang in many choirs, including The National Youth Chamber Choir of Scotland, Strathclyde University Chamber Choir, RSNO Chorus and the RSAMD Chamber Choir, with which he performed in such renowned venues as the Royal Albert Hall, the Usher Hall and Queens Hall in Edinburgh, Royal Concert Hall and City Halls in Glasgow, His Majesty’s Theatre and St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig. Shortly after completing his studies at Douglas Academy, Graham was offered a position as tutor with the Renfrewshire Schools Senior Choir.
In his second year at the Royal Northern College of Music he was chosen as one of the apostles to sing in performances at the Bridgewater Hall and in the proms at the Royal Albert Hall and which they made a recording of ‘The Apostles’ by Elgar. The CD got Gramophone recording of the year, amongst other awards, and No. 4 in the classical charts.
Recent highlights as a soloist include performing Handel’s Messiah with Chesterfield Choral Society, Beethoven no. 9th symphony with Salford Choral Society, Brahm’s German Requiem with critically acclaimed chamber choir Caledonian Voices and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with Southwell Choral Society. Graham also recently sang with Boy George and Clean bandit live on Radio 1 & 2 alongside the BBC Philharmonic.
On the opera stage Graham is recently played the role of Bogdanovich in the RNCM production of ‘The Merry Widow’ and is soon to play Oreste in Gluck’s ‘Iphigenie en Tauride’ in June in St. Andrew’s. Graham is currently on the Post Graduate Diploma course studying singing with Peter Alexander Wilson at the RNCM.

Appearances with Chester Bach Singers