Repertoire

The repertoire built up by the Choir over the years is best represented by performances in the Petersfield Musical Festival and the works performed in the Summer Sing. Since 2010 the Festival works have included: Bach’s B Minor Mass, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony and Toward the Unknown Region, Dvorak’s Mass in D, Walton’s Te Deum, Parry’s I was Glad, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Beethoven’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Haydn’s The Storm, Handel’s Samson, Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, Orff’s Carmina Burana with Lambert’s Rio Grande, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and in 2018 the Bach St John Passion..

For 2019 the Choir is gathering its forces once again, joining with Alton and Petersfield Choral Societies and The Petersfield Choir with its horizons bright, bright despite being coloured by Requiems and memorials, with the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the society preparing for its own anniversary of participating in the Petersfield Musical Festival – its 111th anniversary – when the glorious Brahms “German” requiem is to be performed. Brahms wished to call his requiem the Human Requiem, but his publisher felt the “German” might help its popularity more.

Regardless of whatever title is was given, it was immediately embraced by English choirs and was sung for the first time in Cambridge and then London in 1873 (just five years after its first performance in Bremen), with an English language version – as will be sung at the Petersfield festival – emerging in the 1870s. Unlike most classical requiems, including the very different Verdi requiem and Mozart Requiem which follow the Latin Mass, in Latin, the Brahms Requiem takes it text from the Lutheran Bible. Less of the fire and brimstone of the Dies Irae and more on homage to the dead and the loveliness of the dwellings of heaven. Full of action and variety, it gives the singers majestic choruses, wonderfully scored for two soloists, chorus and orchestra.

Following the Festival we prepare for the Summer Sing, for which the range of works is extensive – and some of the recent programmes are attached. One common feature of all the programmes has been 16th and 17th century British madrigals.

Summer Concert Programme 24 June 2017

We are actively and continually seeking to expand what is already an extensive repertoire, interspersing our regular rehearsal works with additional compositions, such as those in the Oxford Book of European Sacred Music.