Happy 30th, chorus

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THE City of Glasgow Chorus is set to kick off its 30th anniversary celebrations with a programme featuring two seldom-heard works.

On Saturday, in the City Halls, they will perform the Bruckner Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony.

Te Deum is a relatively short work but what it lacks in duration it more than makes up for in technicality and colour. The huge climaxes and warm a-capella passages present this seasoned chorus with challenge and contrast in equal measure so typical of Bruckner.

First published and premiered in 1885, the work is scored for four soloists, chorus and orchestra — although Gustav Mahler scored out these words on his copy and wrote, “for the tongues of angels, heaven-blest chastened hearts, and souls purified in the fire”.

Distinctly different, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony uses Walt Whitman’s poetry as its text, reinforcing the qualities of the composition style with melody and rhythm expertly used to reflect the natural spirit of the ocean in its grandeur and its dark moments.

Scored for orchestra, chorus, and soprano and baritone soloists, A Sea Symphony was first performed in 1910, conducted by the composer himself on his 38th birthday.

With the Beethoven Egmont Overture completing the line-up, this concert will appeal to anyone seeking a diverse concert programme.

Conducting the concert will be the City of Glasgow Chorus’ music director, Graham Taylor MBE, who has led the choir since it was founded in 1983.

About this performance, Graham Taylor said: “This is a special occasion for the City of Glasgow Chorus and for me as we start our 30th anniversary celebrations.

“With a fantastically diverse programme and the opportunity to perform — and for the audience to hear — such seldom-heard works, I’m sure the whole evening will be memorable in many respects.”

The choir will be joined on the concert platform by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and up-and-coming soloist Fiona Wilkie (soprano).

Fiona is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she attained many prizes for singing.

Her performances range from the role of a hen in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen to Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and include performances with Opera Bohemia and Fife Opera.

The concert platform is no stranger with solos in Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse, the Vivaldi Gloria and Handel’s Messiah. Outside the Conservatoire, Fiona works as a chorister at Glasgow Cathedral.

Beth Mackay (mezzo), Ronan Busfield (tenor) and Daniel O’Connor (baritone) will also take the stage.

The show starts at 7.30pm at City Halls.

For ticket info, contact Graham Taylor on 332 2333 or email taylorsifa@btconnect.com.