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Stanmer Park, Brighton | James Morgan
Carmina Burana is one of the most popular choral works ever written, used in everything from TV adverts to horror films. This is because it’s so instantly memorable and conjures up so many strong visual images throughout its epic, sprawling, occasionally bonkers journey, from the menace of the opening to the heart stopping beauty of the soprano solo, In Trutina. BFC has a long association with the piece and recorded the version used so memorably in the Old Spice advert.
This performance of Ellington’s Sacred Concert is in fact a compilation taken from all three of his Sacred Concerts. He regarded these works as the most important he ever wrote. The most striking feature of the works, which are a patchwork of pieces with different forces and texts, is the sheer exuberance that he achieves simply by bringing jazz into church; a tonic for the soul.
John Rutter holds a special place in contemporary choral music, with his often underrated ability to write well-crafted melodic, accessible and singable music. Of all his works, the Requiem is perhaps his most directly emotional and very much in the tradition of the gentler French twentieth century masterpieces by Fauré and Duruflé.