Summer Season Concert

Vive la Renaissance!
A selection of sacred music from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries,
featuring music by Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis, Byrd, and others.

Saturday 2nd July 2022, 7:30pm, Douai Abbey

After the success of their Spring concert, with its focus on two giants of the Classical era, Newbury Choral Society will be going back in time to explore the glories of Renaissance music. Our Summer concert sees us return to Douai Abbey, where the programme of sacred music will resonate to advantage.

The music that flourished between 1450 and 1600 seems to have shown the same curiosity and sense of individual exploration and adventure seen in other art forms. The advent of printing and the potential for greater circulation of music enlarged the ranks of both composers and performers. Educated people were expected to have some musical training.

Against this backdrop, there developed a form of music that was chiefly polyphonic, with typically four, five or six voice parts of nearly equal melodic interest, producing each musical idea or theme in turn, as in a round. The bass register began to be more prominent, resulting in fuller, richer harmonies. By its nature, Renaissance choral music did not need accompaniment, but even so, instruments were often combined with voices.

In Renaissance music, voices were more important than instruments, as composers strove to explore the close relationship between words and meaning: the music was designed to enhance the meaning and emotion of the text. As Roger Kamien puts it, however, “Despite this emphasis on capturing the emotion and imagery of a text, Renaissance music may seem calm and restrained to us. While there is a wide range of emotions in Renaissance music, it is usually expressed in a moderate, balanced way, with no extreme contrasts of dynamics, tone colour and rhythm.” 

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Cloisters Scene

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Our 2021 - 2022 Season of Concerts

Our last concert before the Covid-19 pandemic was on the 7th December 2019 with Joseph Rheinbergerʼs Star of Bethlehem providing the major choral offering. This lush, tuneful Romantic piece was both enjoyable to sing and sufficiently challenging to bring out the best in the singers. The London Ulysses Orchestra accompanied the choir, and also performed Coleridge-Taylorʼs Christmas Overture. Seasonal pieces by Finzi (In Terra Pax) and Vaughan Williams (Fantasia on Christmas Carols) contributed to the festive nature of the programme, which was well received by an appreciative audience. To view Julia Rowntree's review in the Newbury Weekly News.

All the concerts in 2020 had to be cancelled along with the spring and summer terms of 2021.

Finally after years, the easing of restrictions allowed us to perform Handel Messiah on the 4th December 2021. With a socially distanced audience of around 200 and choir, soloists and orchestra regularly doing lateral flow tests  the concert was a huge success. A couple of comments from audience members were "Despite the choir numbers being down the choir sparkled" and "The standard was so high. The soloists were amazing and the choir was so in tune". It was a fantastic evening.

In March 2022 we aim to perform two works by Joseph Haydn: the Te Deum for the Empress Maria Therese, written in 1800, and the Heiligmesse, one of his last six masses, written after his triumphant return from London, where he had acquired fortune and further fame. The London Ulysses Orchestra will perform Mozartʼs Symphony No.36 (Linz).

In July 2022 will see us take a step back in time as we explore some of the wonders of earlier music in Vive la Renaissance! where the acoustic of Douai Abbey lends splendour to a variety of these sacred pieces. These works will highlight the achievements of many of the leading composers of the period. 


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Concert Diary

1

Saturday 2nd July 2022, 7:30pm, Douai Abbey

Vive la Renaissance!
A selection of sacred music from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries,
featuring music by Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis, Byrd, and others.

02.

Saturday 3rd December 2022, 7:30pm, St Nicolas Church

NCS Winter Season - Programme to be advised

03.

Saturday 18th March 2023, 7:30pm, St Nicolas Church

NCS Spring Season - Programme to be advised

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Concert Tickets

Adult - £15
Under 16 - £5

To try and make buying concert tickets as flexible as possible, we have three ways to purchase tickets. Around two months before the concert, tickets are available online via the Eventbrite platform and via choir members.

Our preferred method of sales is via a choir member, as there are no purchase fees involved and the full ticket price goes to the choir. We offer two types of tickets, 'Adult' and 'Under 16', which also extends to young people in full-time education. We ask disabled and wheelchair users to buy a full-price ticket, however their partner or carer goes free.

Online (Eventbrite)

Eventbrite provides a simple and secure method to buy tickets.  Tickets are subject to a booking fee are sent via email.

Simply present the eTicket at the door on your mobile or in printed form.

Choir Members

All members of the choir can sell tickets. Please ask and they can arrange them for you and will deliver them in person.

You can pay for tickets with cash or bank transfer. If you have any questions please email us.

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Concert Venues

We split our year into three seasons, spring, summer and winter, where we rehearse the programme and perform it at an end-of season concert. We mainly have two concert venues, St Nicolas Church, Newbury and Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, the latter used for the summer season.

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