Sunday, 20 February 2011

Norwich Cathedral echoes to the sound of Baroque!

Norwich Cathedral echoes to the sounds
of Bach and Handel
Norwich Cathedral Consort and Norwich Baroque presented an evening of music from Bach and Handel last night. I made my way to the Cathedral in the cold looking forward to and evening of vibrant baroque music.

Norwich Cathedral is a beautiful and stunning venue to experience classical music. The programme of events were Bach's Zadok The Priest and Dixit Dominus. After the interval it was Bach's Magnificat.

Conductor for the evening was David McKee. Leader - Philip Yeeles. Sopranos - Jayne May-Sysum and Billie Robson. Countertenor - Tim Carleston. Tenor - Richard Pratt. Bass - Paul Charrier.

Zarok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king and all the people rejoiced and said: "God save the king. Long live the king. May the king live forever. Amen."

Zarok the priest was composed by Handel using texts from the King James Bible, written to be played at the coronation of George II. It's a very rousing piece of music full of Amens with the chorus ending on "Allelujah". 

Dixit Dominus was written by Handal during his first three year visit to Rome in 1707. This is a majestic masterpiece that brings to life Psalm 110. The Lord said unto my Lord: "Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool."

During the interval I had an orange juice and relaxed in this truly stunning building. The second half of the programme was devoted to Bach's Magnificat that was composed in 1723 for the Christmas Vespers in Leipzig. The text was later altered by Bach to make it suitable for year-round performance. Magnificat is very striking and joyous that uplifted the spirits of everyone in attendance last night.

Thank you to the Norwich Cathedral Consort and Norwich Baroque for a brilliant night of music. They proved Baroque can be a way of life!

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