When asked to nominate their favourite choral music, most people include Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem towards the top of their list.
This work of exquisite simplicity and beauty transcends the sorrow of mourning with the hope of eternal peace, and is beloved by singers and audiences around the world. Joining the choir for the three performances were several guest choristers from the mountains and beyond. Accompanied by professional musicians, we sang a new arrangement of the work by the choir’s Musical Director, Rowen Fox, with an unusual combination of viola, cello, piano and organ to bring out the rich colours and textures of Fauré’s much-loved work.
The soloists in the Requiem were Rob Smith (Baritone) and Suzanne Harcourt (Soprano), with local Soprano, Kirsten Jones, in Bathurst.
The concert program included other masterworks of the French Romantic tradition:
the hauntingly beautiful Pie Jesu, sung by well-known Blue Mountains mezzo-soprano Lyn Phillips;
Léon Boëllmann’s spectacular Suite Gothique for organ, played by Tim Kaye, former organ scholar at Wadham College, Oxford;
and what must be one of the most universally loved final-year assignments by a student of musical composition, Cantique de Jean Racine, composed by Fauré when he was just 19 years old.
Cantique de Jean Racine – Gabriel Fauré
Suite Gothique – Léon Boëllman
Requiem – Gabriel Fauré
All Saints Anglican Cathedral BATHURST
Hoskins Memorial Uniting Church LITHGOW
St Alban’s Anglican Church LEURA