by Jenny McCubbin
For Bridgwater Choral Society

Saints and satyrs, cantatas and psalms – Bridgwater Choral Society is preparing a wide-ranging programme of twentieth-century music for your enjoyment at their next concert on Saturday 6 May which takes place at 7.30pm at Bridgwater Baptist Church.

Sir Arthur Bliss (1891-1975) was a composer and conductor who embraced modernism. He composed music for ballet, film and later for television, and became Director of Music at the BBC where he was instrumental in setting up the Third Programme after World War II. His Pastoral was inspired by a trip to the classical landscape of Sicily in the late 1920s. He collected and set to music an ‘anthology’ of pastoral poems, arranged in the form of a day moving from first light through to evening. The setting is for choir, mezzo-soprano, flute, timpani and strings. Elgar admitted to being a little ‘puzzled’ by some of it but suitably flattered that Bliss had dedicated the work to him!

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) composed St Nicholas in the form on a cantata in nine scenes, describing the life, faith and miracles performed by St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, patron saint of children, sailors and travellers. The piece is for choir, tenor soloist, and children, and was premiered in 1948 at the first Aldburgh Festival. We are fortunate to welcome back tenor Dominick Felix as soloist, and to have members of the Taunton School choir joining us for this performance.

Both Bliss and Britten were influenced by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) and we complete the programme with his Two Psalms for choir, organ and strings.

Please join us for the celebration concert on 6 May in Bridgwater.

The concert will take place in the Bridgwater Baptist Church (not St Mary’s as previously  advertised). This beautiful Grade II listed building was built in 1837 by Edwin Down and features a stunning classical frontage with pediment and cornice of Bath stone. It is located in St Mary Street, Bridgwater TA6 3LY.

Tickets are £10 and are available on the door or via our website Tickets are £10 for adults (under-16s go free but must be accompanied by an adult) or £8 for the Friends of Bridgwater Choral Society.


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