London Concert Choir and Southbank Sinfonia present an evening of choral and orchestral music by Schubert and Mendelssohn to open the Christmas Festival at St John’s.
Why Schubert never finished his Eighth Symphony has been one of music’s great unanswered questions for nearly 200 years, but the work’s two movements are complete in themselves, as the sublime second movement resolves the tensions of the first.
Schubert’s setting of the Magnificat, anticipating the birth of Christ, is reminiscent of the oratorios of Haydn. It is in three distinct sections, forming a musical triptych typical of his sacred music. Mendelssohn’s Ave Maria is among his most radiantly beautiful creations. Also set in three parts, the devotional simplicity of the outer sections contrasts with the contrapuntal textures of the ‘Sancta Maria’.
The concert overture The Hebrides was inspired by the young Mendelssohn’s excursion to the island of Staffa, with its basalt sea cave known as Fingal’s Cave. The music evokes the grandeur of the cave and the sound of the Atlantic waves ceaselessly breaking against the shore.
A rarely-performed unfinished work, Mendelssohn’s Christus, was planned as an oratorio on the life of Christ. After the composer’s premature death in 1847 this title was given by his brother Paul to the existing movements celebrating Christ’s
Birth and commemorating his Passion.
London Concert Choir is delighted to join forces once again with Southbank Sinfonia, the leading orchestral academy for young graduate professional musicians from across the world. LCC appears with Mark Forkgen at all the major London concert venues and is notable for its unusually varied repertoire and the commitment and musicality of its performances.