Happy Birthday, Bernstein!
The centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor, will be celebrated on Saturday 24th March with an exciting concert at Wells Cathedral. The Cathedral's Oratorio Society will mark the occasion by performing the full orchestral version of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, with orchestra, solo quartet, boy treble, trumpets, trombone, timpani, percussion and strings. The conductor is Matthew Owens.
Two works by Aaron Copland, who Bernstein called his "only real composition teacher", are also in the evening's programme: Fanfare for the Common Man and Appalachian Spring, performed by Southern Sinfonia orchestra. Completing the American theme is Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.
The choir will also sing the Gloria by Sir John Rutter, Patron of the Oratorio Society. This work is often heard alongside the Chichester Psalms, and Bernstein lovers will find the final syncopated rhythm of this piece brings his music to mind.
The distinguished English composer and conductor said he was sure his Gloria: "will receive a marvellous performance in Wells."
Sir John added: "It was commissioned by the Voices of Mel Olson, Omaha, Nebraska, and I directed the first performance on the occasion of a visit to the United States - the first of many - in May 1974.”
Bernstein, also an educator and humanitarian, said: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” This does promise to be a magical musical evening indeed.
Bernstein, Rutter, Copland and Barber Concert,
Saturday 24th March, 7pm,
Tickets available online at: wcos.org.uk
For help with your booking, please email
or call: 01749 834483.
Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society - Home
The Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society (WCOS) sings sacred and other choral works in Wells Cathedral three times a year