Majestic! Soaring! These words best describe the musical program slated for the Sooke Philharmonic Chamber Players and Chorus’ Royal Feast concert on April 7 and 8.
Featured are performances of Mozart’s Coronation Mass, K.317 and Handel’s Coronation Anthems, under the direction of conductor Nicholas Fairbank.
The concert title Royal Feast was chosen as both works indeed serve up a “feast for the ears.” The music is celebratory and yet full of contrasts.
“While the Mozart work provides a satisfying main course, the shorter Handel anthems could be envisioned as a four-helping dessert!” remarked Fairbank.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the Coronation Mass, K.317 in 1779, when he was church musician at the Salzburg Cathedral.
This mass likely acquired the nickname “coronation” in the early 19th century as it became the preferred music for royal and imperial coronations and services of thanksgiving.
The work is scored for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass soloists, continually employed either as a quartet, in pairs or in solo lines that contrast with the larger forces of the chorus.
George Frederic Handel’s four Coronation Anthems were commissioned for the coronation of England’s George II in 1727. To this day the four anthems, with their ceremonial style, have been popular additions to concerts and festival programs while the first of the four, Zadok the Priest, has been performed at every British coronation since its composition.
Royal Feast will be the first scheduled concert of the Sooke Philharmonic since the recent passing of the orchestra’s founder and longtime music director Norman Nelson.
“Both compositions, with their uplifting and regal musical themes provide a fitting celebration of Nelson’s musical legacy to the organization he founded 20 years ago” Fairbank said.
The gifted guest soloists include soprano Jennifer Turner, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Whitney, tenor Joé Lampron-Dandonneau and baritone Nathan McDonald.
Two concerts are scheduled: Saturday April 7, 7:30 pm at the Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Shields Road, in Sooke, and Sunday, April 8, 3 pm at Our Lady of the Rosary, 798 Goldstream Ave., in Langford.
Ticket information and online purchase www.sookephil.ca or call 250-419-3569. Tickets may also be bought at the door (cash only) $25 adult, $20 senior, youth under 16, free.