Music at GMC

'The Glory of Notre Dame' with David Briggs

Concert: The Glory of Notre Dame
Choral & Organ Concert featuring
Vierne's Messe Solennelle
Date: 7.30pm, Friday 21st June, 2019
Performers: The Farrant Singers
David Briggs (organ)

It was with shock and sadness that we watched the tragic events on the evening of 15 April when the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was ravaged by fire. At the time all looked bleak but it now seems that much of the Cathedral survived, along with most of its priceless treasures, three rose windows and the great organ, although sadly the choir organ has been badly damaged by water. Long before this tragedy, we were planning to present a stunning choral and organ concert celebrating the marvellous music that has been associated with Notre Dame. In the light of the fire, we offered this concert as a tribute to Notre Dame and its future rebuild. Let's hope and pray that this amazing building will soon be restored to its former glory.

The Farrant Singers are the longest-established chamber choir in Salisbury, with close links to the medieval city, the surrounding Wiltshire villages and the Cathedral, where the choir occasionally sings the services in place of the Cathedral Choir. The group was founded in 1958 by the composer Richard Lloyd (then Assistant Organist of Salisbury Cathedral), initially to give performances of church music in the diocese. Conductors since then have included Mark Deller, Richard Shephard, Colin Howard and Daniel Cook. Andrew Mackay took up the baton as the current conductor in December 2011.
The group currently comprises around 35 singers and its repertoire includes a wide range of sacred and secular music, spanning many periods and styles. The choir gives four large-scale concerts in Salisbury annually, performs in smaller events around the region, as well as providing the music at services, weddings and celebrations. The choir has also sung further afield, singing services at several cathedrals around the UK and touring to Ireland, Italy and Germany.

David Briggs is an internationally renowned organist who has built a worldwide reputation as an innovative musician and dazzling performer. Increasingly sought after for his orchestral transcriptions and improvisation, his performances are applauded for their musicality, virtuosity and ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages.
He studied organ with Jean Langlais in Paris. The first British winner of the Tournemire Prize at the St Albans International Improvisation Competition, he also won the first prize in the International Improvisation Competition at Paisley. At the age of 17 he obtained his FRCO diploma, winning the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
David is also Organist Emeritus of Gloucester Cathedral and is increasingly in demand as a composer.
With an extensive repertoire spanning five centuries, David is also frequently asked to perform improvisation to silent films such as Phantom of the Opera, Nosferatu, Jeanne d'Arc and Fritz Lang's Metropolis. His annual silent film performance in Nurnberg's Sebaldplatz has become a highlight of International Organ Week.

Programme

  • Grand Jeu, 3e Livre d'Orgue (1696) - Louis Marchand
  • Chaconne in G - Louis Couperin
  • Two pieces from 'Pièces de Fantaisie' - Louis Vierne
      Cathédrales
      Carillon de Westminster
  • Berceuse à la Mémoire de Louis Vierne - Pierre Cochereau, transcribed by David Briggs
  • Scherzo Symphonique Improvisée (November 1968) - Pierre Cochereau, transcribed by David Briggs
Interval
  • Quatre Motets sur des thèmes Grégoriens op. 10 for choir a cappella (1960) - Maurice Duruflé with improvised versets (David Briggs)
      Ubi caritas et amor
      Tota pulchra es
      Tu es Petrus
      Tantum ergo
  • Messe Solennelle in C# minor - Louis Vierne
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