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A Handful of Singers

Saturday March 10, 2018 at 19:30
St Mary the Virgin Church, Bathwick, Bath
£15, £5 under 25s
Phone for tickets: 01225 463362
Phone lines open: Mon-Sat 9.30am to 5.30pm
Other Sources: contact@ahandfulofsingers.org
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Requiem Op 9 - Maurice Duruflé
  2. 4 motets sur des thèmes grégoriens Op 10 - Maurice Duruflé
  3. The Bread of Life - Bob Chilcott

For its March concert, A Handful of Singers combines Duruflé's much-loved Requiem, in the version for soloists, choir and organ, and his Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens, with the UK première of The Bread of LIfe, an inspiring work in seven movements for double choir and optional Tibetan singing bowls, by one of the world's most popular composers of choral music, ex-King's Singer Bob Chilcott. The setting of the Requiem Mass by Maurice Duruflé dates from the 1940s, when Duruflé was working on an organ suite based on Gregorian chant. The work was inspired by the death of Duruflé's father, which explains both the personal nature and the powerful emotion of this spell-binding work as well as the use of melodies, to quote Duruflé, 'based exclusively on themes from the Gregorian funeral mass'. For this performance, A Handful of Singers is delighted to be joined by Peter King, Organist Emeritus of Bath Abbey and a well-known recitalist both at home and abroad.

Duruflé returned to the use of Gregorian themes in his Quatre motets of 1960, the tenth of only thirteen works published by this highly self-critical musician in his lifetime. The motets form an ideal companion piece for the Requiem; the best known is his setting of the chant Ubi Caritas.

The Bread of Life, written in 2010 in Chilcott's directly accessible style and beguiling harmonic language, draws together a number of biblical texts concerning bread, including Moses and the manna from heaven, the feeding of the five thousand and the Last Supper and concluding with a coupling of the Lord's Prayer and the affirmation 'I am the Bread of Life'. Already familiar with Chilcott's Requiem, which they have performed in England and Italy, the choir look forward to introducing you to this striking and inspirational work.

One of Bath's most respected choral ensembles, A Handful of Singers has an enviable reputation as a high-quality, versatile choir of 20-25 auditioned singers. Founded in 2002 by a small group of experienced singers, the choir has grown in size and stature under the direction of its award-winning conductor, Christopher Finch (since 2005). Performances range from a cappella concerts to larger works with orchestral accompaniment, and repertoire from the 16th to the 21st century; sacred and secular, serious and light. The choir collaborates with the region's best instrumentalists and singers, and has performed in the presence of the Duchess of Cornwall. It has undertaken concert tours in Ireland and Italy, and has released a CD, Sing... Be ... Live ... See... (4-Part Music 4PM/12174), featuring music by an exciting range of 21st century American and European composers.

St Mary the Virgin Church
Darlington Street
Bathwick, Bath
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