The Guelph Chamber Choir is thrilled to welcome The Elora Singers for a spring concert that explores repertoire for our joint forces. Together with Christopher Dawes, one of Canada’s finest organists, this is sure to be a memorable evening of great a cappella music and music for choir and organ.
Accompanying the choir on the mighty and beautiful Casavant organ is Christopher Dawes, well known to both Guelph Chamber Choir and The Elora Singers audiences. The great organ at St. George’s was installed in 1926 as a part of a major bequest to St. George’s from the local Cutten family, this instrument with its four manuals includes a substantial antiphonal division at the back of the church providing dramatic effects and an immersive experience. Renovations and improvements in the 1970s, 1992 and 2016 have made it one of the most note-worthy organs in south-western Ontario.
Conductor Gerald Neufeld noted, “I’m excited to present this concert augmented by the professional voices of The Elora Singers. With almost 60 strong voices, we will be able to present some of my favourite choral works. Hubert Parry’s I Was Glad, written for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and revised in 1911 for King George V, employs antiphonal choir effects and triumphant fanfares. Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers is considered the greatest masterpiece of the Russian orthodox Church. We will be performing several favourites from this powerful work. Swiss composer Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, written in the 1920s, unbelievably lay in Martin’s drawer for nearly forty years until, after heavy persuasion, he released it for publication and performance in 1963. Universally praised for its exquisite beauty and luminescence,Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem for choir and organ is ideally suited for this pre-Easter time and should be heard in the marvelous acoustical environment of St. George’s Church with these two choirs. It is a powerful work, both dramatic and meditative, offering a glimpse of paradise and joy through music.”
Gerald Neufeld, Guest Conductor;
Guest Musicians: The Elora Singers, Christopher Dawes (organ)
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