The Ecstasies Above - this week
Saturday 13 July, 7.30pm
Cambridge Chorale and the Fichtl Quartet explore an exhilarating programme of classical and contemporary works for choir and string quartet. The centrepiece and inspiration for the programme is Tarik O'Regan's The Ecstasies Above, commissioned by Yale Institute Of Sacred Music and premiered by Yale Schola Cantorum in 2007. The title is a phrase found in the lyric poem Israfel by Edgar Allan Poe, which compares the music of the heavens to that of a more earthly environment. O'Regan sets the text imaginatively making much of the textural variations between three groups (full chorus, solo octet and string quartet). The other contemporary works featured include Eric Whitacre's beautiful Five Hebrew Love Songs set to texts by his wife, Hila Plitmann, each capturing a moment they've shared together. Also the rising star, Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo's Dark Night Of The Soul, which colourfully sets the magical poem of St John of the Cross and, like the O'Regan, explores interesting colours and textures, both choral and instrumental. The classical, and probably more familiar, offerings are all jewels in the compositional crowns of their respective composers: Ludwig van Beethoven's Elegischer Gesang, Orlando Gibbons' This is the record Of John, Claudio Monteverdi's Beatus vir and W.A. Mozart's Ave verum corpus.