Benson Choral Society
Benson Choral Society
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25 November 2017Autumn Concert
24 March 2018Spring Concert
16 June 2018Summer Concert

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Mirror of Perfection (Blackwood) & Maria Theresa Mass (Haydn)
Autumn Concert
Christopher Walker
Saturday 25 November 2017

Mirror of Perfection - Richard Blackford

Maria Theresa Mass - Joseph Haydn

Lorena Paz Nieto - Soprano

Francesca Saracini - Mezzo Soprano

Nathan Vale - Tenor

Will Dawes   - Baritone


7.30pm, Dorchester Abbey

Mirror of Perfection

Local composer Richard Blackford has an impressive tally of works to his name: 4 operas, 2 musicals, a variety of chamber and orchestral pieces, and scores for over 200 films and TV productions. Mirror of Perfection is a setting of seven canticles which are lesser-known poems by St Francis of Assisi covering a wide expressive and emotional range. Richard has an easy and fluent style with the odd harmonic surprise giving drama and colour to the text. Championed by Ronald Corp, who gave the premiere at the Royal Festival Hall, and King's Singer founder member Brian Kay, this piece is becoming well-established in the choral repertoire with over 150 performances by March 2017.

Maria Theresa

In 1795 Prince Nicolaus II of Esterhazy commissioned Haydn, then aged 63, to write a mass each year for the name-day of Princess Marie. This was to result in the six masses on which Haydn's choral reputation stands, together with the oratorios The Creation and The Seasons which were also of this period. The Maria Theresa Mass is the fourth in this series. Its name relates to the empress consort of Francis 11, herself a fine singer. While performed less regularly than the other five, it sparkles throughout with the vitality and inspiration of this remarkable composer.