Sunday 17 March 2019
The Cherwell Singers perform Laudes Organi by Zoltán Kodály
Sunday March 17th, 7.30pm The Chapel of New College, Oxford
The organ has played a vital supporting role as the accompanying instrument of choice in many a Cherwell Singers concert over the years. This term we turn the spotlight on the instrument itself, as the choir sings its praises and that of history’s first recorded player of the organ, Saint Cecilia.
The main work of the concert is Kodály’s “Laudes Organi”, a paean to the organ and ably demonstrating its power, tone, and flexibility while fully integrating the chorus in a programmatic setting of the early medieval text. Written in 1966, the organ of New College Chapel also dates from this decade, and with its spiky, bright and forward tone is the ideal partner for Kodály’s music.
Many images depict the Roman martyr Saint Cecilia playing the organ, and so it seems fitting to also pay tribute to her in three hymns to her by three English composers also from the twentieth century; Herbert Howells, Bernard Rose, and Malcolm Archer.
Finally the organ gets to steal the show in this concert with a performance of the most famous organ piece of all time by the greatest composer for the instrument - the Toccata and Fugue in D minor by J S Bach.
Organist Timothy Wakerell of New College will be the organist for this concert which will be a battle between the choir and organ as to who plays the most important role during the evening. Do join us to find out who the winner is!