Concerts

Seasonal choral performances in Nottinghamshire by an accomplished choir

Concerts

Seasonal choral performances in Nottinghamshire by an accomplished choir

Our Next Concert

Handel: Messiah

Please note the afternoon start time; there will be one 20 minute interval.

Possibly the most enduring work of the entire choral canon, Handel's wonderful Messiah is being performed by Nottingham Bach Choir for the first time since 2005.  But why April?  Though performances are most common at Christmas time, the work - telling as it does the entire story of Christ's incarnation, ministry, passion and resurrection - is well-suited to the Easter season; indeed its premiere was in April 1742.  We are delighted to be performing alongside a star-studded cast of soloists and, in a particularly exciting new venture for NBC, in collaboration with the St Mary's Church Children's Choirs.

Saturday 20, April 2024, 3:00 pm
St Mary's Church, Nottingham

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Other Forthcoming Concerts

Summer Concert: Songs, Sonnets and Scones

Saturday 22 June 2024, 3:00 pm

St Mary's Church, Nottingham

Further details available soon

Mozart

Saturday 30 November 2024, 7:30 pm

St Mary's Church, Nottingham

Further details available soon


Previous Concerts


Carols at St Peter's

Saturday 16 December 2023, 11:00 am

St Peter's Church, Nottingham

A good number joined us for a mix of carols and Christmas readings. The centrepiece was Bob Chilcott's enchanting sequence, On Christmas Night.  Seasonal refreshments were enjoyed before and afterwards.

 

Carols at St Peter's

J S Bach: Mass in B minor

Saturday 25 November 2023, 7:30 pm

Southwell Minster

With five fine soloists and the excellent Nottingham Bach players we performed one of the crown jewels of the choral repertoire in the sublime surroundings of Southwell Minster.

J S Bach: Mass in B minor

Vierne - Messe Solennelle

Saturday 24 June 2023, 3:00 pm

St Mary’s Church Lace Market

In Nottingham Bach Choir's summer concert, we conjured up the atmosphere of a dark, incense-filled French cathedral through the medium of Louis Vierne's powerful setting of the Mass, interspersed with movements from his equally stirring third organ symphony. By way of contrast, the programme also featured four beautifully gentle and affecting motets by twentieth century composers from the UK and North America: Rebecca Clarke, Eleanor Daley, Imogen Holst and Amy Beach. An hour of sublime music in the inspiring surroundings of St Mary's Nottingham, followed by tea and cake - surely an ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon in June!

Vierne - Messe Solennelle

Mendelssohn – Elijah

Saturday 18 March 2023, 7:30 pm

St Mary’s Church Lace Market

Felix Mendelssohn was instrumental in bringing the music of JS Bach to widespread attention. In his own music, we hear clearly the influence of the great master but coupled with Mendelssohn's own sense of Romantic lyricism and drama. Elijah is a fabulous work in which the chorus takes a central role. With music that is eminently singable and spans the full range of human emotion, Elijah is one of the most enjoyable works in the choral repertoire.

Hear how our rehearsals were going here

Mendelssohn – Elijah

JS Bach – Christmas Oratorio Parts 1 and 2 | Finzi – In Terra Pax

Plus audience carols

Saturday 10 December 2022, 7:30 pm

St Mary’s Church, Lace Market, Nottingham

Soloists: Mezzo: Katherine Nicholson. Tenor: Nathan Vale. Bass: Will Burn

We entered the festive spirit with the 'Christmas Oratorio' - an effervescently joyful portrayal of the Nativity Story. From the brilliance of the trumpets and drums in the first cantata as the choir lustily proclaimed "Rejoice, exult!" through to the lilting woodwind textures of the second cantata evoking the shepherds' pipes, we were delighted to return to one of the staples of our repertoire. In the second half the choir presented Gerald Finzi's beautiful, evocative 'In Terra Pax' - in which Robert Bridge's atmospheric description of an English village Christmas is juxtaposed with the Nativity story according to St Luke. There were readings and some well-known carols in which the audience joined the choir and orchestra - and raised the roof of St Mary's!

Tickets can be purchased in advance by clicking the Buy Tickets button below, or by Turn on Javascript!.  (These can be collected on the door).
Tickets may also be available to buy on the door.

Hear the choir enjoying rehearsing for this concert: Watch here

JS Bach – Christmas Oratorio Parts 1 and 2 | Finzi – In Terra Pax

FINZI, HOLST & BRAHMS

Including the beautiful ‘Song of Destiny’

Saturday 25 June 2022, 3:00 pm

St Mary’s, Lace Market

We were delighted to present a selection of music by Brahms (including the beautiful ‘Song of Destiny’), Finzi’s stirring setting of the Magnificat and Holst’s famous eight-part Nunc Dimittis.

Alongside these choral masterpieces, the programme included art songs performed by the acclaimed tenor Harry Jacques.  In an exciting innovation, this concert started at 3pm, lasted for around an hour and was followed by tea and cake!

FINZI, HOLST & BRAHMS

BACH: St JOHN PASSION

Saturday 02 April 2022, 7:30 pm

This was a moving return to the Passion, and to Southwell Minster, after Covid. As well as Peter's excellent direction, the Choir benefitted from an inspiring workshop led by John Butt of the Dunedin Consort.

BACH: St JOHN PASSION

BRITTEN: St NICOLAS

with works by Corelli, Bach, Britten

Saturday 20 November 2021, 7:30 pm

Our first concert after Covid featured a varied programme. Two thrilling pieces by Benjamin Britten, a Bach cantata (well, we are the Nottingham Bach Choir), and our orchestra performed the uplifting Christmas Concerto by Corelli. A programme celebrating music and music making, under the inspiring leadership of our Director of Music, Peter Siepmann.

BRITTEN: St NICOLAS

FESTIVE CONCERT

As part of the popular ‘Coffee Break’ Concert series

Saturday 14 December 2019, 11:00 am

Church of St Mary the Virgin

Peter Siepmann: Conductor

A festive concert as part of the popular ‘Coffee Break’ Concert series at St Peter’s Church.

Nottingham Bach Choir appeared for the first time under the direction of Edward Turner, the choir’s newly appointed accompanist. 
Admission was by donation – all were welcome!

FESTIVE CONCERT

MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C “Jupiter” | “Great” Mass in C minor”

One of Mozart’s finest liturgical works

Saturday 23 November 2019, 7:30 pm

Church of St Mary the Virgin

Rhiannon Llewellyn: Soprano. Kirsty Hopkins: Soprano. Harry Jacques: Tenor. Stephen Cooper: Baritone. Peter Siepmann: Conductor

Two of Mozart’s greatest works opened the Nottingham Bach Choir’s 2019-20 season – the first for the choir’s seventh Director of Music, Peter Siepmann.

The ‘Great’ Mass in C minor is one of Mozart’s finest liturgical works but tantalisingly, like the Requiem, was left unfinished.  Lavishly scored for double choir and a large orchestra, the work combines Mozart’s devotion to the Baroque masters with his own inimitable melodic charm, including the sublime ‘Et incarnatus est’, first performed by Mozart’s new wife, Constanze shortly after their marriage in 1783.  The Mass was interspersed with movements from Mozart’s last (and longest) symphony.  The “Jupiter” (a nickname stemming from its thunderbolt-like opening) is regarded as one of the greatest symphonies in the repertoire, full of mathematical symbolism and contrapuntal mastery.

MOZART Symphony No. 41 in C “Jupiter” | “Great” Mass in C minor”

ROSSINI: PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE. CESAR FRANCK: PRELUDE, FUGUE & VARIATION

A work of inspiration and passion

Saturday 16 June 2018, 7:30 pm

ST MARY’S CHURCH, LACE MARKET, NOTTINGHAM

Paul Hale:Conductor & Piano. Anne Page: Harmonium. Michael Overbury: Piano. Soloists from the Royal Northern College of Music

This (as he described it) “poor little mass” was written by the 71-year-old Rossini in 1863, and performed in its original form the following year in Paris. Thirty-four years had passed since his last opera, Guillaume Tell.

Yet the mass emerged as a work of inspiration and passion, a diverse series of beguiling movements, from slightly sinister counterpoint in the Kyrie to a flamboyant “Domine Deus” for the tenor soloist. Its great melodies have assured its continued popularity with choirs and audiences. Unusually, Rossini makes use of a harmonium which contrasts with the often more angular sound of the piano. The final Agnus Dei begins in a restless, melancholy vein, and moves through a lyrical alto solo, returning to the halting and uncertain rhythms which reflect the coexistence of doubt and faith.

ROSSINI: PETITE MESSE SOLENNELLE. CESAR FRANCK: PRELUDE, FUGUE & VARIATION

HANDEL SAUL

The story of King Saul and the rise of David his successor

Saturday 25 November 2017, 7:30 pm

ST MARY’S CHURCH, LACE MARKET, NOTTINGHAM

Paul Hale: Conductor. Katherine Crompton: Soprano. Roderick Morris: Counter tenor. Thomas Herford: Tenor. Colin Campbell: Bass

Composed in 1738, Handel’s splendid oratorio was designed to impress, with its rich orchestral colours, its varied and dramatic choruses and its contrasting characters who develop through the piece.

The wonderful libretto by Charles Jennens is based on the Old Testament story of King Saul and the rise of David his successor. The oratorio tells of the terrible jealousy of the old king as the young David appears at court and is subsequently victorious in battle. Handel was inspired to write some of his finest music, using a wide range of instruments and depicting
both public happenings and scenes of intimate feeling and conflict.

The oratorio makes reference to some interesting themes of the times, showing the Biblical characters to have an emotional domestic life with which the audience would identify. David himself, having the power of Music, is able not only to soothe pain but also to unite the peoples in harmony. An experience not to be missed!

HANDEL   SAUL

J S BACH: ST JOHN PASSION

Saturday 25 November 2017, 7:30 pm

ST MARY’S CHURCH, LACE MARKET, NOTTINGHAM

Paul Hale: Conductor. Katherine Crompton: Soprano. Roderick Morris: Counter tenor. Thomas Herford: Tenor. Colin Campbell: Bass

First performed in 1724, Bach’s masterpiece is based on St John’s account of Christ’s trial and crucifixion; although less frequently performed than the St Matthew Passion, a strong narrative combined with complexity, drama and beauty in the arias, choruses and chorales make this a compelling work.

J S BACH: ST JOHN PASSION

MENDELSSOHN SAINT PAUL

An account of the life of St Paul

Saturday 01 April 2017, 7:30 pm

ST MARY’S CHURCH, LACE MARKET, NOTTINGHAM

Conductor: Paul Hale. Soloists: Alison Rose, Andrew Tortise and Marcus Farnsworth

Virtuoso Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy had already composed several highly regarded large scale works when he was commissioned to compose his first oratorio at the comparatively young age of 22 years. His setting of an account of the life of St Paul, as taken from the Acts of the Apostles, is suitably dramatic.

As a renowned Bach revivalist, Mendelssohn’s writing was influenced by Bach’s Passions and also the works Handel and Haydn. When first premièred in 1836, in Dusseldorf, the work was well received by audience and critics alike. Such was its popularity, within eighteen months the work had been performed on 50 occasions. Mendelssohn extensively revised the work, conducting it four months later in England and in the USA within a year.  Although this masterpiece of orchestral writing became less popular in the early part of the 20th century, the classical elegance and melodic beauty of the work still captivates audiences today.

MENDELSSOHN SAINT PAUL

JS BACH CHRISTMAS ORATORIO BWV 248 PARTS I, II, V & VI

An audience favourite...

Saturday 26 November 2016, 7:30 pm

ST MARY’S CHURCH, LACE MARKET, NOTTINGHAM

Conductor: Roger Bryan. Soloists: Ruth Provost, Martha McLorinan, Peter Davoren & Andrew Ashwin

In late 1734, and in his eleventh year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, Bach composed a major new cycle of six cantatas. The cantatas were to be performed at the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche on six feast days from Christmas Day to Epiphany.

The Christmas Oratorio is closer to Bach’s Passions in form, using a tenor Evangelist as narrator, with arias, choruses and chorales illustrating and reflecting on the Gospel texts. Much of the Christmas Oratorio is founded on music composed for earlier cantatas, both sacred and secular. The celebratory cantatas composed for the royal family of Dresden in 1733 are reworked to great effect. In the opening chorus, the bright orchestration of these earlier works is heard accompanied by voices heralding the birth of Christ with the words “Jauchzet! frohlocket (“Shout for joy! Exult!”) with timpani and trumpets echoing the statement. From its exultant opening to the exquisite Pastoral Sinfonia, the spectacular and colourful orchestration ensures Christmas Oratorio remains an audience favourite.

Review by William Ruff, Nottingham Post, November 2016

Yes, I know: the cards, calendars and chocolate Santas have been in the local garden centre since early August. But now the real festive season can begin. The Nottingham Bach Choir have sung their patron composer’s Christmas Oratorio.

The outstanding feature of their performance on Saturday was its story-telling. The Christmas narrative of baby, manger, shepherds, wise men etc was delivered with propulsive energy by tenor Peter Davoren, whose words seemed to take flight as they brought the familiar bible story to life. His fellow, similarly eloquent soloists were Ruth Provost (soprano), Martha McLorinan (mezzo) and Andrew Ashwin (bass), all of whom transmitted the text as if Bach’s German were not only their native language but also that of the audience. And very stylish they were too, enunciating clearly and carefully moulding phrases. Breath control in the mezzo aria Schlafe, mein Liebster must have been a challenge – but its effect was both tender and poignant.


The Bach Choir was on sprightly form too. It’s not easy to keep choral textures clear in the reverberant acoustic of St Mary‘s – but under conductor Roger Bryan they sang as if Bach’s notes had been swirling in their bloodstream for years. Their chorales had touching simplicity whilst the big choruses were light on their feet and brightly, bouncily confident and assertive. They looked and sounded particularly impassioned at the start of Part VI as they painted a vivid picture of sharp-clawed enemies snorting with rage.

In this they were aided by some top-notch ensemble and solo playing from the orchestra. The continuo section offered subtle and tireless support whilst arias were coloured by incisive contributions from, amongst others, solo violin and oboes. And amongst the loud cheers at the end, perhaps the loudest were reserved for the dazzling trumpeters.

JS BACH CHRISTMAS ORATORIO BWV 248 PARTS I, II, V & VI

Spring concert 2016

J S Bach Mass in B Minor

Saturday 19 March 2016, 7:30 pm

Southwell Minster

Jennifer France: Soprano. Marie Elliot: Mezzo-soprano. Jorge Navarro-Colorado: Tenor. Adrian Powter: Baritone.

J S Bach’s Mass in B Minor is undoubtedly his final and crowning masterpiece. During his latter years, Bach embarked on a systematic summarization of all his work, adding innovative concepts to some of his finest compositions.

Bach assembled an untitled compilation of four movements 1. Missa (Kyrie & Gloria) (1733); 2.Symbolum Nicenum (Credo) (1742-45 and earlier work); 3. Sanctus (1724) 4. Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei & Dona nobis pacem (1740’s) into a grand setting of the Latin mass. Unsuitable for use in a liturgical context due to its scale and complexity, (the later named) Mass in B Minor received its first performance in entirety more than one hundred years after Bach’s death.

From the intense Kyrie to the triumphal closing Dona nobis pacem,
Bach’s final chapter is a glorious summation of his life, faith and work; one which transcends all boundaries

Spring concert 2016