Nelson Civic Choir and orchestra present the elegant and beautiful Fauré Requiem together with a selection of songs, with a focus on New Zealand composers.
The choir and orchestra, together with baritone and soprano soloists, will perform under the baton of Nigel E. Weeks on Sunday November 24th at 2.30 pm in the Nelson School of Music Auditorium at NCMA.
Instead of the sombre nature of many requiems, the Fauré Requiem is noted for its calm, serene and peaceful outlook, fixed on eternal rest and consolation. Fauré wrote of the work:
Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.
Of the many settings of the Requiem, this is probably the most widely loved. Two new sections, the lyrical Pie Jesu and the transcendent In Paradisum, with its soaring vocal line, marked a departure from the standard liturgical text. In seven movements, the work is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, mixed choir, orchestra and organ. The work has often been described as a Requiem without the Last Judgement, and Fauré himself described his Requiem as ‘a lullaby of death’.
The concert also features a selection of songs with a focus on well-known New Zealand composers, with the choir performing Chris Artley’s Solitude and I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, and David Hamilton’s St Luke’s Magnificat.
The baritone soloist, Iain Tetley, will sing The Lord’s Prayer, set to music by Albert Hay Malotte (1895 - 1964), and Where’er you walk, by George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759), which is arguably the most popular number from the musical drama Semele, and undoubtedly one of Handel's most famous arias.
Soloists for the Fauré Requiem
Iain Tetley, who sang with us in Carmina Burana, is to sing the baritone solo. Iain gained his music degree, specialising in conducting, at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. His career roles include singing in an octet for the Queen in Taupo in 2002, singing with the late John Scott, former organist and choirmaster of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in 2006, and performing as the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with Auckland Choral in 2007. He was in the opera chorus for Andrea Bocelli’s first visit to New Zealand at the Vector Arena, Auckland, in 2014. In 2008 he conducted 222 performers, including eight soloists, with a full orchestra, in the successful Auckland premiere of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace at the Auckland Town Hall, a work he conducted again in 2015 for the 100th anniversary of Anzac. In 2014, Iain formed a new choir called Cantorum, specialising in Renaissance and Baroque music. He moved to Whanganui last year, and this year he took over the reins as the new director of one of the city’s several choirs, Schola Sacra. Iain is delighted to be singing with us again.
Hunter Meek, a young treble from Kapiti College north of Wellington, is to sing the treble solo, Pie Jesu. Hunter is trained by the opera singer Moana Pember, and has been in several Kapiti College Chamber Music groups for local audiences, and in the NZCT secondary schools Chamber Music Contest. She was the youngest person to be accepted into the Young Musicians Programme at Victoria University, which she attended for four years. Hunter also enjoys Shakespeare, winning the Outstanding Young Actor Cup in the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Regional Festival last year. She is extremely excited to have this opportunity to sing and work with Nelson Civic Choir.