The works we shall be performing on 25/26 May in our Swedish tour represent something of the range of styles and traditions which have been central to the repertoire and nature of the JCS since our formation in 1988.
In our programme of unaccompanied choral music, we feature music from across Northern Europe – England, France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Russia and of course Sweden – with one piece by an Australian composer to represent the Southern hemisphere!
Much of the music in the programme reflects religious themes and many of the composers will be very familiar – Purcell, Mendelssohn, Grieg, Rachmaninov for example. Lux Aeterna (Light Eternal) is from Requiem for a Tribe Brother. This was commissioned by JCS from Malcolm Williamson, who came to live in England and became Master of the Queen’s Music but never forgot his Australian roots. The JCS sang parts of the Requiem at the composer’s funeral in 2003.
Of the more recent composers, Jonathan Harvey, who died in 2012, and Alexander Campkin have both featured prominently in the JCS repertoire and have both been commissioned by the choir.
The Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi has an international reputation in the choral world. His telling of the story of the sinking of the cruise ferry MS Estonia in 1994 on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm is a vivid and moving piece, which opens with the same text as the Williamson: Lux Aeterna.
The full listing of the works we shall perform is:
Hear my prayer, O Lord (Psalm 102 v.1) Henry PURCELL (1659-95)
Richte mich Gott (Psalm 43) Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-47)
Hvad es du dog skjön (from Four Psalms Op.74) Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Beati quorum via (Psalm 119 v.1) Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924)
Lay a garland Robert PEARSALL (1795-1856)
Bogoroditse Dievo Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Communio: Lux Aeterna (Requiem) Malcolm WILLIAMSON (1931-2003)
Canticum calamitatis maritimae Jaako MÄNTYJÄRVI (b.1963)
Exultate Deo (Psalm 81 vv.1-3) Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
I love the Lord (Psalm 116 vv.1-4, 7-9) Jonathan HARVEY (1939-2012)
Miserere mei Deus (Psalm 50) Alexander CAMPKIN (b.1984)
Var inte rädd för mörkret Karin REHNQVIST (b.1957)
Details of the venues and timings of our performances are here.
Do come and hear us if you are in the region!
[Photo © Christopher Williams 2004]