Petersfield Musical Festival: Stanford, Grieg, Puccini

Stanford Songs of the Fleet
Grieg ‘Peer Gynt’ Suite
Puccini Messa di Gloria

Festival chorus, with Fernhurst and Petersfield Choral Societies
Samuel Stopford, tenor
Edward Ballard, baritone 

Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra         

Conductors: Paul Spicer and Stephen Scotchmer

Paul Spicer and Stephen Scotchmer conduct the Festival Chorus and Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra in a programme of picturesque music from across Europe, with Ed Ballard and Samuel Stopford making their second appearance here as soloists.

By 1910, when Stanford wrote the Songs of the Fleet, he was the grand old man of British music. As we might expect from the period, the fast movements have their share of cheery Edwardian gung-ho, whilst the slow movements have a haunting and timeless beauty.

Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, by contrast, was the 22-year-old composer’s graduation exercise. As such, it shows his mastery of harmony and counterpoint, with a massive fugue concluding the Gloria. However, inspired by a performance of Verdi’s Aïda, he had already decided to compose operas, and it is easy to imagine the soloists and chorus as operatic characters, with their sweeping melodies, emotional gestures and dramatic orchestral accompaniment.

Seats £22 (tiered), £18 (flat), £5 (18 and under)

Image credit: Ed Ballard by Clare Park

View the poster.

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