2009-2010 Season

Autumn Concert, 14th November 2009

Photograph of the Band of the RAF College, Cranwell

Following on from our very successful Autumn Concert in November 2008, when we sang together with the Band of the Parachute Regiment in support of the Army Benevolent Fund, we decided to organise a similar, but enhanced event this Autumn, the proceeds of which would be donated to the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

We have for a long time wished to honour and support our Armed Services in some tangible manner and believed we had an excellent opportunity in the form of a concert. To that end we joined forces with the Band of the Royal Air Force College, Cranwell to produce a concert of both choral and instrumental works. This did not take the form of a Service of Remembrance but rather was a celebration of the RAF, its 90 year history and the people who have, or are currently serving.

Logo of the RAF Benevolent Fund

The full format and content of the concert was:

National Anthem

Welcome by Air Marshall Sir Stuart Peach KCB RAF

A Festival Overture by Shostakovich

'Introitus', the 1st Movement fron Lux Aeterna by Lauridsen

633 Sqn ny Goodwin

Meditation (from Thais) by Massenet

Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni

Gloria by Rutter



Interval

Orb and Sceptre by Walton

Youth Choir items

'Dambusters March' by Coates

'I was Glad' by Parry

'A Trip down Memory Lane' by Wiffin

Address by Air Marshall Sir Robert Wright KBE AFC

'Hymn to the Fallen' by Williams

'You Raise Me Up' by Lovland

With ticket sales, the retiring collection and the Gift Aid envelope monies all added together the GCS was proud to hand over a cheque for £3300 to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Christmas Carol Concert, 15th and 16th December 2009

The venue was ChristChurch, Finkin Street, Grantham

Spring Concert, 27th March 2010

Brahms 'A German Requiem'

Accompanied by the Nettle and Markham Piano Duo

Johannes Brahms 1833 - 1897

A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures, Op. 45 (German: Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift op. 45) by Johannes Brahms, is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra, and soloists, composed between 1865 and 1868. It comprises seven movements, which together last 65-80 minutes, making this work Brahms's longest composition. A German Requiem is sacred but non-liturgical, and unlike a long tradition of the Latin Requiem, A German Requiem, as its title states, is a Requiem in the German language.

An alternative version of the work was prepared by Brahms to be performed as a piano duet, four hands on one piano. This version also incorporates the vocal parts, suggesting that it was intended as a self-contained version probably for at-home use making the duet version an acceptable substitute accompaniment for choir and soloists in circumstances where a full orchestra is unavailable. The first complete performance of the Requiem in London, in July 1871 at the home of Sir Henry Thompson and his wife, the pianist Kate Loder (Lady Thompson), utilized this piano-duet accompaniment and was sung, as indeed will the Grantham Choral Society's concert, in English.

Throughout his life Brahms was encouraged by his publishers to transcribe his major works for home consumption (ie for 1 piano/4 hands) and he usually complied, although often being so reticent about owning up to the task that he insisted the transcriptions be published under various pseudonyms. The recent publication of his duet arrangement of the Requiem has resulted in a number of performances with singers of this version which have not always been successful due to misconceptions. Brahms’ transcription is a self-contained reduction of the complete solo, choral and instrumental parts and, as such, was obviously never intended to be used as a substitute for the orchestra in choral performances, despite its possible use in the first private chamber performance in London in 1871. In order to present the work in a satisfactory form, for their unique version Nettle & Markham have painstakingly recreated the orchestral parts (using Brahms’ original score and the piano transcription) and perform a four-handed version which faithfully represents the letter and spirit of this great work, with all the resulting immediacy and impact the composer intended.

For more information on Nettle & Markham, who are now celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Piano Duo, visit Nettle and Markham

________________________________________________________________________ Morten Lauridsen's 'Lux Aeterna'

In his preface to the published choral score, Morten Lauridsen wrote, "Lux Aeterna was composed for and is dedicated to the Los Angeles Master Chorale and its superb conductor, Paul Salamunovich, who gave the world premiere in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center on April 13, 1997. The work is in five movements played without pause. Its texts are drawn from sacred Latin sources, each containing references to Light. The piece opens and closes with the beginning and ending of the Requiem Mass, with the three central movements drawn, respectively, from the Te Deum (including a line from the Beatus Vir), O Nata Lux and Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

Morten Johannes Lauridsen is an American composer. He was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001) and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 30 years.

Morten Lauridsen with George W. Bush

In 2006, Morten Lauridsen was named an "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007, he received the National Medal of Arts from the President of the United States in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide." _____________________________________________________________________

Concert critique by Mr Duncan Andrew and published in "The Journal"

Choral Society Is Praised For Its Great Enthusiasm.

One of the benefits of attending a live concert is that you listen to an entire piece of music which you may have been tempted to turn off on the radio.

The three movements of the Lux Aeterna by Lauridsen, sung by the Granthan Choral Society with great feeling, were such items, particularly the last movement.

The organ accompaniment by Tim Williams justifiably received separate acknowledgement.

Two piano duets by Schumann and Chopin were performed by the internationally famous David Nettle and Richard Markham.

The Chopin was particularly delightful and it was obviously enjoyed as much by the performers as by the audience.

In the second half of the concert the choral society performed Brahms German Requiem, accompanied by the piano duo and with two soloists. It is a difficult work and the society must be praised for tackling it and with such enthusiasm. The fifth movement, a soprano solo accompanied by the choral society, was particularly well done and very moving. Grantham is fortunate in having such an active and enthusiastic society.

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