BCS Summer Concert – Bernstein and Durufle

Bernstein and Duruflé

Bernstein Chichester Psalms
Durufle Requiem

Bristol Choral Society
Hilary Campbell Conductor
Ian Tindale Organ
Anne Denholm Harp
Oliver Butterworth Percussion

Simon Ponsford Counter Tenor
Stephanie Seeney Mezzo Soprano
Nick Beever Baritone

70 years after its first performance Duruflé’s Requiem continues to haunt: a Mass for the dead; a plainsong-inflected comfort to the living. Bernstein contemplates comfort too – but only after a toe-tapping take on Psalm 100 that will raise the roof! This programme also includes music with a Hebrew influence by the American composer Eric Whitacre.

Duruflé’s Requiem is a setting that stands outside time; a work floating free of gravity in a world shaped by the supple fluidity of plainsong. Where better then to experience its affecting reconciliation of ancient and modern than beneath the soaring vaults of Bristol’s great Augustinian foundation? Raising the curtain is Leonard Bernstein’s very different homage to his Jewish roots where jazz and a hint of the blues mingle with a potent amalgamation of affirmation and anxiety. Harp and percussion lend pungent Old Testament colouring bringing us full circle in a season that opened with Walton’s equally exotic ‘Belshazzar’, and ends in a summertime encounter with the eternal that promises to be out of this world!

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