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Sunday 4 March 2018

3:00 pm • Retiring collection

University of Surrey Chamber Choir and Orchestra

Conductor: Russell Keable

Schutz, J.S.Bach, Giazotto, Finzi and Vivaldi

Choir with Russel Keable conducting
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Heinrich Schutz

Motet "Selig sind die Toten" SWV 391

J S Bach

Motet "Komm, Jesu, komm" BWV 229

Remo Giazotto

Adagio in G minor on two themes and a bass line by T Albinoni

Gerald Finzi

from "Seven Poems of Robert Bridges" Op.17

  • My spirit sang all day
  • Nightingales
  • Haste on my joys
  • Wherefore tonight so full of care


Beatus Vir in C, RV 597


Always an occasion to be enjoyed, and one which exploits the excellent acoustics of the sanctuary to the full, is a visit from University of Surrey`s Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra. Hence, we much enjoyed the afternoon`s concert on Sunday 4th March when these talented young music students under the guiding hands of Maestro Russell Keable entertained us with choral and instrumental works from the 17th,18th and 20th century.

The Motet "Seligsind die Toten" by Heinrich Schutz written in 1648 commenced the programme followed by another Motet by J.S.Bach entitled "Komm, Jesu, komm", and these two compositions showed the choir of twenty young voices to be capable of filling the auditorium with a splendid well balanced and sweet sound.

The well known Adagio in G minor, which has always caused controversial opinion in musical circles as to whether the writer was Tomaso Albinoni or Remo Giazotto , was played most sensitively by the orchestra, and with Dr Maureen Galea at the chamber organ and two fine base players providing a steady continuo, the total effect was stunning.

Gerald Finzi`s four songs taken from " Seven Poems" by Robert Bridges showed the choir in a somewhat lighter vein and the blending of voices and balance was very pleasing and successful in expressing the poetic sentiments.

Occupying all the second half of the programme, Vivaldi`s nine part Mass "Beatus Vir" in C, RV597 really showed what a thrilling sound this current university choir and string players can make. As, sometimes, in the days of the great Venetian choral tradition, the singers and musicians were split into two opposing groups (antiphonally) separated by Maureen Galea`s chamber organ, and we were truly able to appreciate the quality of the voices, especially of the men, and the fine soprano and tenor soloists in the "Gloria et divitiae" the "Jucundus homo" and "Peccator videbit" sections.

As has been observed many times before, it is remarkable that these young people can make time in their academic studies to perform these complicated vocal and instrumental works to such a high standard thanks to the inspired tuition of their professors. We are indeed fortunate to have such a centre of excellence close by from which such talent is readily available.