Concerts

Family Carols
with
Royal Academy of Music Brass Ensemble

2:45 pm, Sunday 19 December 2021
Eton College Chapel

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Fauré - "Requiem"
Gounod - "Sainte Cécile"

7:30 pm, 8 January 2022
Eton College Chapel

This setting of Gounod's "Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cecile", written in 1855, comes from a time in Gounod’s life when he began to devote himself wholly to composition. The climax of his musical education had been a period of intense study in Rome, where he was overwhelmed by the music of Palestrina and by plainchant. There is a faint echo of this in the first three notes of the Saint Cecilia Mass but nothing comes of it and the work as a whole has a rather operatic style. The soloists in this work have no separate arias; they join with one another and with the choir in every section. Gounod uses dynamic contrasts in all parts of the Mass, especially in the Credo, though the concluding Agnus Dei is appropriately quiet throughout.

Faure’s Requiem was written in memory of his mother, while Faure was choir master at the Madeleine in Paris, and given its first performance there. Compared with those of Berlioz and Verdi, this Requiem stands on an equally high pedestal. Simplicity is its keynote, starting and ending pianissimo, with just the occasional declamatory outburst. The exquisite Pie Jesu for soprano solo is followed by Libera Me Domine, set for baritone solo, and soon joined by the rest of the choir. Faure concludes with In Paradism, which fades away imperceptibly into silence.


click here for ticket details and postal order form (no additional charges)
or Click here for on-line booking by credit card (charges apply)