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Preview: University of Portsmouth Choir Chichester Psalms Concert

07/03/2018

The award-winning University of Portsmouth Choir will be singing the Chichester Psalms to celebrate 100 years since Leonard Bernstein’s birth.

The Choir, which recently scooped the Best Classical award at The News Guide Awards for its performance of The Messiah in March last year, will pay tribute to the legendary composer with a rendition of one of his greatest works.

The concert, which takes place in St Mary’s Church, Fratton on Saturday 17th March at 7:30pm, will also feature Janacek’s Otcenas in its original Czech and Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man as the Choir sings an exciting array of choral repertoire.

Choir conductor, Dr George Burrows, says the four psalm texts of the Chichester Psalms, which is sung in Hebrew, is “at once modernistic, powerful, dance-like, melodic and beautiful.”

By comparison, Janacek’s setting of the Lord’s Prayer Otcenas is just as distinctive and modern, but it was written some 60 years before Bernstein’s work and the musical language is more sparse and more Slavic.

Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man is the most contemporary of the trio. Written in 1999 it draws on the French song “L’homme armé” for inspiration and positions ancient devotional music by the likes of Palestrina within a decidedly contemporary-but-accessible idiom.

Choir manager Rebecca Holder says: “the concert is going to be amazing. We’ve got a really talented choir who cannot wait to sing these great pieces.”

Author: Edward Tomalin
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