Handel centre stage at autumn concert

HANDEL's Dettingen Te Deum, one of his most colourful choral works, will be the centrepiece of St Albans Choral Society’s autumn concert in St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane, at 7.30pm on Saturday 7 November.

Peppered with trumpet fanfares and echoes of Messiah, the jubilant piece was composed to mark George II’s victory over French forces at Dettingen am Main in 1743 during the Austrian War of Succession. It was the last time in history that a British king led troops into battle, and the Te Deum formed part of a triumphant reception at the court on his return to England.

The soloists are Greg Tassell, tenor (pictured below), Martha McLorinan, mezzo soprano, and Simon Preece, bass.

The programme also features two new choral works. Some Corner of a Foreign Field by Cecilia McDowall, the Society’s composer in association, dramatically conveys the horrors of the First World War. Love and Harmony is a warm, lush setting of a William Blake poem by rising composer Toby Young, a former choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, whose wide-ranging output includes work with dance and urban artists.

George Vass, the Society’s Music Director, conducts the choir and Orchestra Nova, who perform two orchestral works: Elgar’s Sospiri, written just before the outbreak of the First World War, and Sibelius’ Romance in C

Tickets at £18 (£15 concessions), £15 (£12 concessions), £1 children, are available from SACS Ticket Line on 07884 231958 or online at allaboutstalbans.com.

Tenor Greg Tassell