The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s second year undergraduate singers will be singing in a choral concert on March 19th, 2014 in Paisley Abbey. Paisley Abbey has the only existing organ in a liturgical building of a large instrument by the distinguished and highly influential French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.
Instruments by this master builder are in such important French cathedrals as Notre Dame de Paris and the Basilica of St Sernin in Toulouse and the amazing Abbey church of St Ouen in Rouen. The Paisley organ is unique in the UK and makes a wonderful sound.
We will be performing “Messe Solonelle” and “Les Angelus” by Louis Vierne and Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Requiem’ .
The Louis Vierne – “Messe Solonelle”, a beautiful sacred work for a four part mixed choir; including the short soprano song cycle by Vierne, a French organist and composer, called “Les Angelus”. Vierne was nearly blind due to congenital cataracts but at an early age was discovered to have an unusual gift for music.
He was deeply affected by a separation and subsequent divorce from his wife, and he lost both his brother and his son Jacques to the battlefields of World War 1. Though he held one of the most prestigious organ posts in France, the Notre-Dame organ was in a state of disrepair throughout much of his tenure at the instrument. He eventually undertook a concert tour of North America to raise money for its restoration. The tour, which included major recitals on the famous in Philadelphia and its smaller sister instrument, the Wanamaker Auditorium Organ in New York City, was very successful, although the trip physically drained him.
The “Requiem” setting by Gabriel Faure is to be dedicated to the millions of young men who lost their lives in the course of that war, as 2014 is the 100th Anniversary of the commencement of the First World War. A short requiem lasting 35 minutes, it is written for orchestra, organ, mixed chorus and two soloists, soprano and baritone, and performed in Latin. It consists of seven movements; the most famous is the aria Pie Jesu.
You can find further details on the RCS website.
Our Chamber choir is to be conducted by Frikki Walker who is also leading our rehearsals which I am really enjoying.
The choir members have been asked if their families have any links to the First World War so that we can have a better understanding of what the evening is all about. If any of you have any background or family stories connected to the time period and Great War or blog posts on your sites then I would love to hear about them.