St Albans Choral Society will perform works by contemporary composers James Francis Brown, Sally Beamish and David Matthews (pictured above) alongside the Fauré Requiem at 7.30pm on Saturday 12 November in St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane.
The first half will feature the English premiere of Brown’s The Heavens and the Heart, a thrilling setting of three Latin psalms for mixed chorus and small orchestra of horns, harp and strings. The Society commissioned the piece jointly with the 2016 Presteigne Festival, with funding from the Williams Church Music Trust and the Arts Council of Wales.
Its rapid opening section speaks with exciting dynamics of the unending power of God and the heavens (Psalm 19). This is followed by a sober conjuring of righteousness and sin (Psalm 58), and a final jubilant section, with a bell-like tribute to God’s glory (Psalm 92).
Continuing the Old Testament theme is David Matthews’ version of Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd. The third contemporary work is Sally Beamish’s Showings, which is based on the visions of the 14th century Christian mystic and theologian Julian of Norwich.
The sublime Requiem by Gabriel Fauré will fill the second half, with solos by two young singers: Edward Kay, baritone, and soprano Sophie Edwards, whose “silvery-toned” performance of the Pie Jesu won praise at this year’s Presteigne Festival. George Vass will conduct the choir and Orchestra Nova.
Tickets are available at £18 (£15 conc), £15 (£12 conc) and £1 children from SACS Ticket Line on 07555 610095 or from members of the choir.