Summer in France is Horsham concert promise from choral society

Christ’s Hospital Choral Society - photo by Emela SisicChrist’s Hospital Choral Society - photo by Emela Sisic
Christ’s Hospital Choral Society - photo by Emela Sisic
Summer in France is the summer concert from Christ’s Hospital Choral Society on June 8.

The concert will cover music by French composers Fauré, Duruflé, and Villette. More details or contact the box office on 01403 247434.

Spokeswoman Esther Clark said: “While Gabriel Fauré’s family can be traced to the 13th century in Ariège in the south-west of France, his background is modest. He spent his first four years in a foster family, coming back home when his father was made director of a teacher training college in Foix.

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"The harmonium in the adjoining chapel allowed him to develop his musical talent.

"At nine years old he was sent to the École de Musique Classique et Réligieuse, also known as the École Niedermeyer de Paris, where Camille Saint-Saëns was one of his tutors.

"Having won a Premier Prix for the beautiful Cantique de Jean Racine he left the college in 1865 as a 20-year old.

“Work as an organist and piano teacher was put on hold when he volunteered to join the military in the France-Prussian war which, thankfully, he not only survived but for which he was also awarded a Croix de Guerre. Events during these times are said to have influenced his later work as well as his mental state. Amongst his contemporaries and friends were César Franck, Charles Gounod, Liszt, Wagner, and Bizet. Just imagine! And Chopin was still composing when Fauré was born in 1845 while jazz was quite the thing when he died in 1924. Apart from the Cantique, Fauré’s Ave and Tantum Ergo will also be performed at the concert.

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“Pierre Villette (1926-1998), probably the lesser-known composer on the night, was nevertheless a prolific creator of choral works, having written 81 opus numbers. Hymne à la Vierge (Hymn to the Virgin) is the best-known piece by him, perhaps not without reason.

"He struggled with his health and had a lung removed in his twenties. Later he moved from Besançon in the Alps to Aix-en-Provence for health reasons. In his young days, before joining the Conservatoire in Paris, he studied with Duruflé.

“Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) left the Conservatoire de Paris with first prizes in organ, harmony, composition, and piano accompaniment. He then became the organist of St Étienne-du-Mont where he stayed the rest of his life and met his second wife, the assistant organist Marie-Madeleine Chevalier.

"He also worked as a professor of harmony at the Conservatoire.

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"He was extremely self-critical and destroyed any works that he deemed not good enough, resulting in just a small oeuvre left to us.

"The choir will be performing his Requiem, including his setting of In Paradisum and Ubi Caritas from his Quatre Motets.”

The concert will be on Saturday, June 8 at the school’s Chapel, starting at 7.30pm.

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