Benson Choral Society
Benson Choral Society
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10 June 2017Summer Concert 2017
25 March 2017Spring Concert 2017
26 November 2016Autumn Concert 2016, Dorchester Abbey 7.30
18 June 2016Summer Concert
19 March 2016Spring Concert, Dorchester Abbey
28 November 2015Autumn Concert, Dorchester Abbey
20 June 2015Summer Concert in Dorchester Abbey
28 March 2015Spring Concert in Dorchester Abbey
07 June 2014Summer Concert
29 March 2014Spring Concert

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Summer Concert 2017

Saturday 10 June 2017

Byways of Beethoven

Mass in C (Op 86)

Choral Fantasia (Op 80) - Solo Piano Anita D'Attellis

Halleluia (Op 85) from Christ on the Mount of Olives

Soprano - Helen Withers

Mezzo Soprano - Serenna Wagner

Tenor - Paul Smy

Bass - Phillip Tebb


The great Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) embraced, developed and sometimes transformed all the musical categories of his time. In choral music, we think immediately of the epic Missa Solemnis and the Choral Symphony – but after that? He did write a number of smaller scale choral works and we explore some of these in this concert.

The Mass in C has been likened to Haydn’s late masses,   as it was for Prince Nicolaus II of Esterházy. Following Haydn’s model, Beethoven abandoned the sectional treatment of the 18th century mass, integrating the soloists into almost symphonic extended movements. It has many attractive moments, and is altogether a well-crafted and enjoyable work.

The Choral Fantasia for choir, solo piano and orchestra was composed at speed, to be performed at a famous concert in Vienna in December ,1808; a concert which also featured the first performances of his Symphonies Nos 5 and 6, his 4th Piano Concerto, and extracts from the Mass in C. Its glittering piano introduction sets the mood for a pleasant, light-hearted work with a final chorus extolling harmony, peace and love, with clear hints of the last movement of the Choral Symphony yet to come.   

Beethoven’s only oratorio is on the theme of Christ’s Passion. It has fallen out of favour in more recent times, but its biggest chorus, Hallelujah, has acquired a life of its own, and well deserves an outing.


‘There is much to enjoy in this programme, and it is always a musical treat to include the wonderful playing of our accompanist Anita D’Attellis as soloist in our concerts.’