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By a happy coincidence, the date for Orpheus Singers’ autumn concert, 23rd November, falls between 2 significant dates in the Christian musical calendar.

The day before, 22nd November, is the Feast of St. Cecilia – the patron saint of music and the day after, Sunday 24th, is the Last Sunday before Advent, the day when 2 of Bach’s best-known cantatas were first performed at Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where he was Kapellmeister (music director).

To mark the first of these 2 occasions, Orpheus Singers will be performing a number of pieces dedicated to St. Cecilia, by English composers Henry Purcell, Herbert Howells and Benjamin Britten. Widely varied in style and musical complexity, these pieces demonstrate how composers of different ages have chosen to celebrate their patron saint.

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The 2 Bach cantatas, Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott (Happy is the person who trusts in God) and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the watchman) are also complex and feature recitatives, arias and duets interspersed with chorales from the choir. The solo parts are highly crafted and the second cantata contains 2 beautiful love duets between soprano (the Soul, as bride) and bass (Jesus, the bridegroom).

The choir welcomes 4 young professional soloists and organist Peter Gould, Emeritus Director of Music at Derby Cathedral.

This rich and varied programme will be performed at Christ Church, Totland starting at 19:30 on Saturday 23rd November.

Tickets can be obtained online at www.orpheussingers.org.uk or at the door.

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