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The Elgar Chorale of Worcester Presents: 'Wondrous Machine'

23 Mar 2024 @ 7:30 p.m.
Poster March Concert wondrous with tickets.jpg
Ends: 23 Mar 2024

‘Wondrous Machine’ with the Elgar Chorale of Worcester.

A choral celebration of Pershore Abbey’s new Ruffatti organ

Worcester’s well-known chamber choir, The Elgar Chorale directed by Piers Maxim returns to Pershore Abbey in March and is joined by Paul Trepte, recently retired former Director of Music and Organist at Ely Cathedral in an exciting programme of music from Eastern Europe showcasing the recently installed Ruffatti pipe organ at the Abbey.

Featuring composers Zoltán Kodály, Leoš Janáček, Antonín Dvořák, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Henryk Górecki, the Chorale is also joined by John Upperton (tenor), Shulah Oliver (violin) and Natasha Gale (harp) bringing a wonderful variety of musical pieces to the audience.

Two substantial works in the programme are Kodály’s Missa Brevis and Janáček’s Otče náš (Our Father). The Missa Brevis, first performed during the siege of Budapest towards the end of the second world war, was written at a time of great uncertainty, danger and personal hardship. It is a tour-de-force — colourful, expressive, exuberant, and energetic, a choral masterpiece with a very identifiable voice. The version here is scored for organ, chorus and soloists and in fact the work received its British premiere, in an orchestrated version at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester Cathedral in 1948. Janáček was a fiercely spiritual agnostic when he wrote his Otče náš and it represents his faith in the community as a product of a shared Slavic heritage and spirit. Here it is scored for solo tenor, mixed chorus, organ and harp. There are wonderful moments in it as with the solo tenor’s heroic entries Thy Kingdom Come andThy Will Be Done and the chorus’s stirring responses.

Other pieces in the concert include Kodály’s Laudes Organi (In Praise of Organs) his last completed work with its particularly triumphant conclusion, marking a fitting end to the career of the composer whose contribution to the Hungarian choral tradition remains unrivalled; also Janáček’s Zdravas (Hail Mary), Rachmaninoff’s Bogoroditse Devo, Górecki’s Totus Tuus and Dvořák’s Goin’ Home (theme from the New World Symphony).

Do join the Elgar Chorale for ‘Wondrous Machine’ at Pershore Abbey. It takes place on Saturday 23rd March 2024 at 7.30pm and tickets (£18 full, concs (over 60) £16, side aisles £15 with under 18’s free) are available from BLUE, 19 Broad Street, Pershore. 01386 553847, Pershore Visitor Centre, Town Hall, 34 High Street, Pershore. 01386 561561 or on our website www.elgarchorale.com