BACH ‘Mass in B Minor’
ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR Heyr þú oss himnum á
Bach’s Mass in B minor is an inspired reworking of compositions from different periods of his life, drawn together in his final years. The result is a choral masterpiece that uses the full range of musical styles Bach explored in the course of his career, and one that stretches the stamina and technique of singers and players alike. As such, the Mass could be seen as the ultimate Bach showcase: a unified expression of his genius as a composer.
Heyr þú oss himnum á translates as Hear us in heaven. Anna Thorvaldsdottir wrote the piece for the Skálholt Summer Concert Series, August 2005, using words from four verses of an old Icelandic psalm by Olafur á Söndum (1560–1627).
For this performance, Crouch End Festival Chorus is delighted to collaborate with The Hanover Band, one of the UK’s finest period instrument orchestras, as well as four outstanding soloists.
Crouch End Festival Chorus
The Hanover Band
Anna Dennis soprano
Marta Fontanals-Simmons mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Hulett tenor
Henry Waddington bass-baritone
David Temple conductor
“Strings are gleaming and engaged, their woodwind sublime, their brass bright and flexible, their percussion alert….”
HANOVER (Not Hannover; Germany) In terms of British history the majority of the music we play is from the Hanoverian period. Hanover also refers to Hanover Square in London, where Haydn performed his symphonies and arias in the Salomon Concerts in the 1790’s.
BAND (ref: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)
‘An instrumental ensemble, larger than a chamber ensemble. Thus the ’24 violins’ of Louis XIV were called ‘la grande bande’ to distinguish them from Lully’s ‘petits violons’, and Charles II’s similar ensemble was known as ‘the King’s Band’. By extension, ‘band’ came to mean an orchestra in colloquial British usage’.
THE HANOVER BAND a period name for a period orchestra.