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Music at St Machar’s Cathedral

Music for 23rd April 2017 – Second Sunday of Easter


Sicilienne                                                                                     G.Fauré (1845-1924)

Offertory: Larghetto; Adagio (Sonata in a minor)                             G.F.Handel (1685-1759)

Music before the Service

Ere yet the dawn hath filled the skies                                              S.Karg-Elert(1877-1933)

With heart and soul, O sons of men

Jesus, help conquer! Thou prince ever-living

Music at the end of the Service

Chorale Improvisation: Eternity, thou Word of Power                         S.Karg-Elert

Today’s Music

Gabriel Fauré was the leading composer of his generation in France, rising to be the Director of the Paris Conservatoire from 1905-1920. He was one of a succession of distinguished Church musicians in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century, and was Choirmaster and Organist at La Madeleine from 1877-1905. As a tutor at the Paris Conservatoire he numbered many of the next generation as his pupils. Celebrated in particular for his songs and chamber music, his greatest gift was the development of a fluent musical language of great harmonic and rhythmic flexibility particularly suited to setting the liquid qualities of the French language. Some of this flexibility is to be heard in the delightful Sicilienne which is taken from incidental music he wrote in 1898.

Handel is a composer whose sonatas are often overlooked in the great admiration that his Oratorios and Operas command. This is a pity for his writing for upper instruments, such as violin and recorder, is varied and exciting. A mixture of Italian melody and German structure, the textures are always keenly conceived, and the music highly varied. The Larghetto ffrom the sonata in a minor is based on a repeating ‘walking bass’ on the organ, above which the recorder weaves a beautifully expressive melody. The Adagio, beginning in the more relaxed key of F major, with a smoother bass line, explores the major key, before reverting to the minor for the Ending.

Sigfrid Karg-Elert was a German composer, pianist and organist who succeeded Max Reger as Director of the Leipzig Conservatoire. His series of Chorale Improvisations, cover the seasons of the ecclesiastical year. The four to be heard today show some of his expressive range. The first is a joyful outburst, expressing the triumph of Easter morning, while the second, with many echo effects, is rich in its use of chromatic harmonies. The third is a quiet cantilena, reflects on the Easter story. The recessional is a powerful and dramatic piece, rather like last week’s recessional in its free treatment of the sturdy Chorale on which it is based.


April Concerts

April 22nd – Aberdeen Youth String Ensemble. 7.30pm



Patrons: Dame Emma Kirkby, Professor John Butt OBE

Musical Director: Peter Parfitt


Settings of the Te Deum by British Composers from the

Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century


Sunday 30th April 2017

St Machar’s Cathedral

Organist: David Gerrard

Tickets £14 Concessions £12 Students £5 Under 16s free

Available at Aberdeen Box Office www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

or from choir members

Wheelchair access       Large print programmes