Music at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral
While waiting for decisions on the future of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the Cathedral Choir and Orchestra sing a Solemn Choral Mass at 10.30 am each Sunday at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, where they continue to maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at the CBS Music Centre, beside the Pro-Cathedral, at 373 Manchester Street, Christchurch. Sight reading ability is expected. Scholarships and awards are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.
Lenten Concert 2018
A performance of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater to mark the Lenten season will be the highlight of a concert at 3 pm on Sunday March 18, 2018, in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Admission will be free, with a retiring collection, and all are warmly welcome.
The Stabat Mater has been widely performed and become very popular since its completion in the early eighteenth century by Pergolesi shortly before his death at the age of 26. It is a reflective poem about Mary at the foot of the cross, full of emotional intensity and beautiful melodies, sung by two female voices accompanied by string orchestra. The soloists will be Elizabeth Emeleus and Louisa Pilkington, and the CBS Orchestra will be led by Natalia Lomeiko, and directed by Don Whelan.
The other work on the programme, Bach’s Cantata 23, Du Wahrer Gott, is of particular interest. It was written to prove Bach’s ability as a candidate for the most prestigious musical position in Germany, as Cantor at the Leipzig St Thomas Church, and conducted by him in February, 1723. The bible reading for the appointed Sunday described Bach’s encounter with the blind man, to be sung in this performance by soloist Ken Joblin. This liturgical focus inspired Bach to pour all his skill into a short but varied set of musical reflections, ranging from a vigorous chorus to an imploring duet, involving Stephanie Waterhouse, and concluding with imaginative settings of the German Agnus Dei, which he later preferred to conclude the second version of his St John Passion.
Dr Jan-Piet Knijff will play continuo organ. Presently based in the U.S., he has a distinguished background as a professional harpsichordist and organist, and will bring to this Bach performance much experience from Holland and New York City, where he played continuo for the Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.