Established in 1987, The Octavian Singers have gained a justified reputation for achieving high musical standards. The group performs a wide variety of music from Baroque to 21st Century, madrigals...
The Octavian Singers perform at least three concerts each year, usually in the spring, summer and winter, at established venues near Woking, Surrey. Next concert is our autumn concert in St...
The group performs a wide variety of music from Baroque to 21st Century, madrigals to major choral works.
Saturday November 23rd 2013, at St John’s Church, Woking. Tickets £10 on the door, include refreshments. Under 16s free.
Featuring Gounod’s luscious Messe Solenelle de Sainte-Cécile, our autumn concert will be a celebration of music and St Cecilia, with anthems by a range of favourite composers from Byrd to Handel, Parry and Finzi.
Now a little history! The first music festival in honour of St Cecilia was held in Normandy in 1570 and the Academy of St Cecilia in Rome was founded by the Pope in 1585, making it one of the oldest musical institutions in the world. St Cecilia’s following flourished in the Middle Ages and she continued to be a popular topic in the arts until the 18th century – since then her admirers have tended to be mostly British with composers such as Britten, Howells and Finzi writing music dedicated to her honour. The first musical celebration in Britain took place in 1683 with Purcell writing an Ode – we will be performing the opening chorus in this concert.
Our main work in the concert is the St Cecilia Mass by Gounod written in 1855 and first performed in Paris on St Cecilia’s day (which is November 22nd each year). The musical styles foreshadow his successful career in opera composition as you will hear dramatic marches, glorious soaring melodies and widely ranging dynamics.
We will also be performing music which celebrates singing and music itself such as “Sing Joyfully” by Byrd, “My spirit sang all day” by Finzi and the familiar solo song “An die Musik” by Schubert.