Ely Choral Society presents Elgar's The Music Makers, Poulenc's Gloria and Brahms' Alto RhapsodyELGAR The Music Makers POULENC Gloria BRAHMS Alto Rhapsody
ELY CHORAL SOCIETY Andrew Parnell Conductor Elenor Bowers-Jolley Soprano Stephanie Windsor-Lewis Mezzo-soprano
The Music Makers was first performed at the Birmingham Festival in October 1912 and conducted by Elgar himself. The text, from a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy, celebrates the dreaming artist and his importance to society. Elgar quotes his own music several times – e.g. the word "dreams" is accompanied by a theme from Gerontius. However most of the music is original and Elgar displays a perfect ear for the sounds of the chorus and the mezzo-soprano. The work achieved immediate popularity and is still performed regularly if infrequently, with the quotations adding a novelty value to a warm and heartfelt work. One of his most celebrated works, Poulenc’s setting of the “Gloria” is a mixture of lightheartedness and spirituality and after the premiere in Boston in January 1961, Poulenc described the audience reaction to the second movement thus - “The ‘Laudamus Te’ caused a scandal; I wonder why? I was simply thinking, in writing it, of the Gozzoli frescoes in which the angels stick out their tongues; I was thinking also of the serious Benedictines whom I saw playing soccer one day.” The Alto Rhapsody by Brahms is a setting of verses from Goethe's Harzreise. Written in 1869 as a wedding gift for Schumann's daughter Julie, it has long been speculated that the composer had romantic feelings for Julie, which he may have integrated into the text and music. The work was "tried out" in October 1869 at a dress rehearsal in Karlsruhe where Brahms and Clara Schumann were present but received its first public performance in March 1870. The Alto Rhapsody is not often performed in concert so we hope you will take the opportunity to hear it in the magnificent surroundings of Ely Cathedral.
Ely Choral Society is very grateful to the Elgar Society and the Williams Church Music Trust for their support which helped to make this concert possible.
AddressEly, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire,
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