Harlow Chorus Celebrates the Crème de la Crème of French Music

Entertainment / Mon 25th Sep 2023 at 12:13pm

IT IS an all-French affair for Harlow Chorus at their autumn concert, which takes place in the atmospheric surroundings of Waltham Abbey Church on Saturday 14 October at 7.30pm.

The choir will be performing two lyrical and soulful requiems by two of France’s greatest composers. The first requiem – or musical setting of the mass for the dead – is by Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) and the second is by his celebrated pupil, Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), whose music links the end of the Romantic movement and the start of the modern era. 

“The audience are going to get a clash of the Titans between Fauré and Saint-Saëns and see how markedly different and interesting the settings are,” says Musical Director, Dr Edward-Rhys Harry, who also reveals there’s an intriguing surprise in store for concert-goers. 

“Many, many people are aware of the Fauré Requiem, know the Fauré Requiem or have heard bits of it and it’s loved by many people. But the Saint-Saëns Requiem is very dramatic; it has pushes and pulls, colour, drama, and we are presenting it in a very unique way… If there’s only one concert you go to in 2023 in your locality, it’s got to be this one!” 

The concert will also showcase shorter works including Fauré’s popular Cantique de Jean Racine and Edward’s own arrangement of En Mer by Pauline Viardot (1821-1910), a woman whose extraordinary musicianship was fêted in her day, and whose compositions are only now being re-evaluated after being largely forgotten. 

If an evening of beautiful French music packed with gorgeous tunes takes your fancy, tickets are £15 (under 18s: £5). To book, call 01277 362440, email [email protected] or visit www.ticketsource.co.uk/harlowchorus 

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