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Choral music to lift your spirits and inspire your heart

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

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In April, St Mary’s Cathedral will be filled with the sublime sounds of soaring voices as renowned UK conductor Nicholas Cleobury leads WAAPA’s Classical Vocal students in a beautiful program of choral music accompanied by one of Australia’s leading organists, Stewart Smith.

Transcendental Voices, featuring works by Tippett, Leighton, Dove, Parry, Tavener and Bach, will be performed in St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, 6 April at 7.30pm.

Nicholas Cleobury is currently Head of Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. An esteemed conductor of major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world, he is a specialist choral conductor, known for his particular gift for working with young people and students. He has taught at most of the UK’s music colleges, universities and youth opera companies, and WAAPA is delighted to welcome him to Perth as a visiting guest artist.

Cleobury is also renowned for his enormous contribution to the performance and fostering of contemporary music, having worked with many leading ensembles and composers, most notably Sir Michael Tippett. So it is only fitting that the English composer’s Five Negro Spirituals from A Child of Our Time – with the hauntingly beautifulSteal Away’ and the ever-popular ‘Go Down Moses’ – will be performed in St Mary’s Cathedral as part of the Transcendental Voices program.

In addition to Tippett’s belovedwork, Transcendental Voices features the Australian premiere of Kenneth Leighton’s best-known church work, Crucifixus Pro Nobis; Jonathan Dove’s joyful, uplifting setting of Psalm 139, Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars; and Blest Pair of Sirens by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, who was famous for writing the tune of the cherished choral song, Jerusalem.

The final choral piece on the program is Sir John Tavener’s Hymn to the Mother of God, which displays the composer’s love for complex harmonies achieved through layered voices. Tavener, who died in 2013, was the single most popular British classical composer of the late 20th and 21st centuries. His most celebrated works include the choral music, The Lamb and the cello concerto, The Protecting Veil. His Song for Athene was sung at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

The program also includes solo instrumental performances from two of WAAPA’s brilliant staff members: Alexandre Da Costa plays the famous Chaconne fromBach’s Partita for violin in D minor and Stewart Smith will perform the Passacaglia in C minor for organ.

This is guaranteed to be an evening of music that will lift the spirit and inspire the heart.

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Transcendental Voices performance web page.

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