Saints Alive!

Conducted by David Ogden
Richard Johnson organ
Ben Thapa tenor

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Howells Hymn for St Cecilia
Kodály Missa Brevis
Harwood O how glorious
Britten Hymn to St Columba
Stanford Justorum animae
Harris Holy is the true light
Finzi For St Cecilia

The month of November is a time for remembering and commemorating the lives of those who have died in conflict, or for their beliefs. This concert brings together those two themes in music for choir, tenor soloist and organ.

The Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály wrote his Missa Brevis in 1945, during the turbulence of the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and it was first performed in the safety of Budapest Opera house cloakroom as gun shots rang outside. This large-scale work for choir and organ is a dramatic and emotional prayer for peace, full of brilliant and exuberant choral writing set against passages of lyrical, sonorous and heartfelt pleas for mercy.

The rest of the concert includes vibrant and uplifting 20th century British choral music celebrating the saints, most notably St Cecilia, the patron saint of music and musicians. The renowned solo tenor Ben Thapa joins the choir for a performance of the rarely-heard, triumphal ceremonial ode For St Cecilia by Gerald Finzi in a new arrangement for choir and organ. This performance marks the work’s premiere almost 70 years ago to the day.

Come and join City of Bristol Choir as we bring alive in music the stories of those saintly men and women who have been celebrated and immortalised in art and architecture over the centuries.

Interval refreshments of cheese and wine will be available.

Tickets are £15 for adults, £5 for students in full time education and under 18s.

Tickets will be available on the door this evening at All Saints’ Church, Pembroke Road, Clifton. Please note that we are only able to accept payment by cash or cheques on the door.