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Sun, 22 May

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United Reformed Church, Taunton

Serenity of Soul

A magical springtime concert of choral classics.

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Serenity of Soul
Serenity of Soul

Time & Location

22 May 2022, 15:30

United Reformed Church, Taunton

About the event

For their fifth concert, Somerset Voices present an intriguingly varied and interconnected programme of sacred choral music, drawn from four centuries (17th-20th) and three countries: England, Germany and Estonia.

The earliest music is by Purcell (1659-95) and J. S. Bach (1685-1750) and the programme traces the complex web of their influence upon the later composers whose music is also to be performed.

Purcell’s influence upon Britten (1913-76) is widely recognised. Closer to our own time, Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) has acknowledged his strong connections to the music of Bach and Britten.

Bach was revered by Brahms (1833-97) and both were powerful influences upon Stanford (1852- 1924), who had studied in Leipzig where Bach had once been Kantor. Stanford became a hugely influential teacher of composition at the Royal College of Music in London; among his pupils were Frank Bridge and John Ireland, both of whom taught Britten when he in turn was a student there.

Motets by Bach, Brahms & Stanford are interwoven with anthems and canticle settings by Purcell, Britten & Pärt and a cantata by Britten. The organ virtuoso, Peter King, adds his own contribution to our celebration of Bach with the composer’s sparkling Prelude & Fugue in G BWV 541.

The striking phrase which forms the concert’s title is taken from near the end of the remarkable poem by Christopher Smart (1722-71), set by Britten in Rejoice in the Lamb, which closes the concert.

We hope you will enjoy the concert and experience ‘a remarkable stillness and serenity of soul’.

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