Welcome to our updated blog page!
Updated: May 18
The COVID-19 restrictions have stopped us being able to meet, but we can still enjoy music together. We don't often have time to share music outside of the pieces we are rehearsing, but there's a lot of music that we are less likely to perform ourselves that is well worth getting to know.
When we put our programmes together, there are lots of considerations: choosing pieces that we can enjoy rehearsing and bring to performance standard, have similar orchestrations and soloists, available scores and works that audiences will want to come and hear. There are often pieces that are considered that may not fit a programme for a few years and some pieces never seem to quite get in, even they are great pieces.
Our first shared work is a set of pieces by the French composer Francis Poulenc, his Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence (four motets in a time of penitence). Adam conducted a performance including these motets in the early 2000s and it was a great experience. The pieces are demanding, unaccompanied works with various split parts, unique harmonic structures and changing time-signatures.
Poulenc’s music isn't as well-known as it should be. These motets are a fine example of his religious music, although he was considered a lightweight composer and much of his serious music was overlooked during his lifetime. These pieces were composed in 1938-9 and are quite intimate choral works. Like Bruckner in his motets, there is a link back through Mozart and Bach to earlier church music but with a unique twist to the harmonic language and sound world.