Sussex Chorus offer Monteverdi's Vespers

Sussex Chorus (contributed pic)Sussex Chorus (contributed pic)
Sussex Chorus (contributed pic)
Sussex Chorus offer Monteverdi's Vespers for their spring concert on March 23 at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill, RH15 0LG.

Tickets are £15 and £6 (for under 16s and students in full-time education) available on 01444 412579 or from Burgess Hill Help Point or

Spokeswoman Wendy Barnaby said: “Monteverdi was an Italian composer born in Cremona in 1567. He died in Venice in 1643, having been director of music at San Marco. The Vespers was written in 1610 and is regarded as one of the greatest of all sacred pieces. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Period instruments and a church environment are necessary to hear the music as intended so please join us and take this opportunity to hear an authentic performance.

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“There will be cornetts, which evolved from cow horns, look like snaky recorders and sound like trumpets. There will be sackbutts, precursors of the trombone. There will be a theorbo, a type of bass lute developed to accompany the voice. Monteverdi used all of these instruments. More familiarly, there will be violins, cello and organ. Together they will create a feast of sound for the Vespers, a work which embodies the composer’s controversial approach to his art. Monteverdi’s idea of composition was contested at the beginning of the 17th century when the form of the music was thought to be more important than the words. The composer disagreed. He was guided more by the words. His foundational text in the Vespers is the Psalms, sung by massed choirs who provide a firm structure for the more ethereal solo pieces: interludes which musicologist Jennifer Glagov describes as ‘intimate and erotically charged.’ With the text always shepherding the composition, the music is both grounded and emotionally powerful. At once vivacious and beguiling, it meets the composer’s own criterion for great sound.”

The conductor will be Stephen Anthony Brown, music director of Sussex Chorus, and the soloists Ana Beard Fernandez (soprano), Ellie Neate (soprano), Dan Joy (tenor), and Christopher Lemmings (tenor), accompanied by the Odeon Consort.

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