The King’s Consort. Credit Keith Saunders
ODES TO ST CECILIA – NOVEMBER 25
The Patron Saint of Music is being celebrated this weekend with a Norfolk visit from one of the world’s leading period orchestras.
The King’s Consort is set to celebrate St Cecilia with three very diverse pieces of music as their founder/conductor Robert King explains.
‘So Robert, what is in store in Sunday’s concert at Norwich Theatre Royal’?
“We’re crossing three centuries with major British composers inspired by St Cecilia and Handel’s piece is the core of the whole performance. St Cecilia is the Patron Saint of Music and her Saints Day falls on November 22nd, so in terms of timing it is perfect. More to the point, she’s inspired so many fantastic settings of music from the 17th Century onwards that you can create an amazing programme just of odes to her”.
‘Take us through the programme’
“Purcell is one of the great composers and his Ode to St Cecilia (1683) is wonderfully inspired, gentle, elegant and evocative with an absolutely delicious middle solo for the altos. It’s just full of gorgeous music.
Britten’s setting from 1941 brings a very distinctive approach with his piece for an unaccompanied choir. It’s an absolutely stupendous piece of choral writing and was rather wonderfully written while Britten was on a boat coming back to the UK during World War Two.
Both works act as a preface to one of Handel’s greatest – his 1739 Ode for St Cecilia’s Day filled with magnificent choruses and solos. It’s a major 18th Century work by the adopted British composer. It features a magnificent series and choral solos. You hear wonderfully contrasted and varied movements of violin, trumpet and timpani”.
‘Finally tell us about about The King’s Consort’.
“We were founded in 1980 whilst I was a chorister with the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge University. Since then we have performed in concert halls across continents and around the world.
I am passionate about communicating and involving the people who come to watch us. We want every member of that audience to feel that they belong to that performance and to bring them mentally onto the stage.
We love to show people that, after 38 years, we’re having terrific fun and we love what we do. Performing the music as the composer intended is at our core. Whatever the repertoire, we try to deliver it with the same degree of passion the composer put into it in the first place”.
Odes To St Cecilia, Sunday 25 November at 7.30pm. Tickets £10-£29. Discounts for Friends.
To book, log onto www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.