FAURÉ / MESSAGER Messe des Pêcheurs de Villerville(18′)
FAURÉ Cantique de Jean Racine (6′)
FRANCK Prelude, Fugue and Variation for solo organ (15′)
HOLMÈS La vision de la reine (25’)
An afternoon of glorious choral music.
The Abbeydale Singers perform Cantique de Jean Racine, one of Gabriel Fauré’s most popular works, loved for its beautifully restrained nature and gorgeous harmonies. They are joined by Ensemble 360 for Fauré’s Mass, rarely performed in its entirety, composed in collaboration with his lifelong friend, André Messager, in honour of fishermen from the tiny Normandy village of Villerville.
Organist Darius Battiwalla plays César Franck’s mesmerising Prelude, Fugue and Variation before singers Anna Huntley and Ella Taylor, rising stars of the opera and concert stage, join Ensemble 360 and Abbeydale Singers for the shimmering sounds of the Queen’s Vision by the Irish-French composer Augusta Holmès.
Note from Guest Curator, Steven Isserlis
“This is a programme particularly close to my heart. The Messe des Pêcheurs by Fauré and his lifelong friend André Messager is simply gorgeous; I chanced upon it recently, and just could not stop listening to it. Cantique de Jean Racine, written while Fauré was in late teens and still at school, is a miracle of beauty; and the cantata by Augusta Holmès, the Irish-French firebrand so beloved by Franck, Saint-Saens and many others, is a fascinating curiosity. Such a fine idea to compose the part of the Minstrel not for a singer, but for a cello!”