Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

April 2005


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Stour Singers Programme Notes

The main work in the evening’s programme is the much-loved Requiem of Gabriel FAURE (1845-1924) written after his mother’s death in 1888.  Part of the Te Deum of Marc-Antoine CHARPENTIER (1645-1704) is familiar as the signature-tune of the European Song Contest but why is the great English composer HENRY PURCELL (1659-1695) included in this essentially French programme?

PURCELL was a choirboy in the Chapel Royal at the time of the Restoration of Charles the Second who favoured all things French, particularly style in music.  A choir member some 12 years older then the young Purcell, PELHAM HUMFREY (a prolific composer in his day but now virtually unknown) was sent to study in France and returned in 1667 a ‘an absolute monsieur’ (Pepys) full of enthusiasm for the French ornamental style in composition.  Purcell was greatly influenced by this and royal approval and the short Bell Anthem which starts tonight’s performance contains as much orchestral flourish as choral content.  This then is the ‘FRENCH CONNECTION’.


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Last modified: April 03, 2005