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Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris

Choral diversity at the Proms

19 April 2013

Diversity: the keynote for this year's Proms
Diversity: the keynote for this year's PromsRobert Viglasky/BBC

This year’s BBC Proms season kicks off on 12 July with a performance of Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under its new conductor, Sakari Oramo. Among other familiar choral classics are Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome, under Sir Antonio Pappano (20 Jul); Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Jansons – 9 Aug); Bach’s Easter and Ascension Oratorios (Monteverdi Choir/English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner – 9 Aug); Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 (Choral), in the first ever free evening Prom with the Irish Youth Chamber Choir, and the National Youth Choir and Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko (11 Aug);  and Marin Alsop – who this year becomes the first woman ever to conduct the Last Night – directs the Orchestra and Choir of the Age of Enlightenment in Brahms’s Requiem (17 Aug).

The season’s Polish music theme directs attention to Szymanowski’s Symphony No.3 ‘The Song of the Night’ with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales joining forces with the BBC Symphony Chorus under Thomas Søndergård (18 Jul).

But there is choral innovation a-plenty in the season. Jeffrey Skidmore’s Ex Cathedra bring Stockhausen’s ‘Welt-Parlament’ from the opera, Mittwoch aus Licht for its London premiere (19 July). ‘Stockhausen always intended it to stand alone as a concert work as well as being a theatre piece,’ says Skidmore. ‘It’s an absolutely sensational piece of choral writing for 37 singers, who form a futuristic world parliament discussing the theme of love.’ Other innovations include the UK premiere of Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s The Moth Requiem – a dream-like incantation of the names of the dustier cousins of the sun-loving butterfly – scored for women’s voices, alto flute and three harps (BBC Singers/Kok, 12 Aug); the world premiere of German composer Charlotte Seither's Language of Leaving, based on the words of 17th-century poet Francesco de Lemene (BBC Singers/Pons, 28 Aug); and the London premiere of George Lloyd’s final work – Requiem – written in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales (Temple Church Choristers/BBC Singers/Hill, 3 Sep).

Peter Phillips and his Tallis Scholars will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a late-night Prom contrasting the music of John Taverner with Carlo Gesualdo, who died 400 years ago.       


Lindsay Thomson 

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