“Les Chansons des Roses”
Saturday 24th June, 7.30pm
St Paul’s, Honiton Parish Church
The main work featured in Exeter Chamber Choir’s mid-summer concert is the choral song cycle “Les Chansons des Roses” by American composer Morten Lauridsen, composed in1993, the year before his well-known “O Magnum Mysterium”. It is a setting of five French poems on roses by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, which struck Lauridsen as being “filled with gorgeous lyricism, deftly crafted and elegant in their imagery, primarily light, joyous and playful …the musical settings are designed to capture their delicate beauty and sensuousness”. His style varies from the dance-like madrigal setting of the first and third songs, the restrained and gentle beauty of the second song, “Contre qui, rose”, described by the composer as “a wistful nocturne” with its expressive, unresolved suspensions, and the tuneful, simple folksong-like setting of the final piece “Dirait-on”.
The French connection in this concert continues with motets by Pierre Villette (a pupil of Maurice Duruflé), exquisite, spiritual settings, highly charged in their chromaticism and sensually expressive harmony, and the lovely “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Fauré, composed when he was just nineteen years old. The second half of the programme is devoted to a selection of Afro-American Spirituals.
Interval refreshments will be available.
Tickets: £12 (children/students FREE)