Barely 20 years separate the world wars that so shaped the destiny of the 20th century. After last year’s commemorations of the 1918 Armistice, 2019 marks the anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles, a settlement that historians now argue sowed the seeds of the next conflict that broke out two decades later in September 1939.
Those interwar years saw a radical change in musical styles and tastes and a move away from the opulence of the pre-war period, a change explored by the English Chamber Choir in its latest concert at the Temple Church, London, following its thought-provoking and well-received commemoration of the Armistice in November last year.
Temple Church is one of the loveliest venues for music in London. Photo: Miranda Parry
The Swiss composer Frank Martin revisited the style of JS Bach to build a throughly 20th-century aesthetic. Central to the concert will be his impressively intense Mass for Double Choir.
The English Chamber Choir, conducted by Guy Protheroe, was the first European choir to perform Maximilian Steinberg’s Passion Week, a work written in Russia in 1926 but only recently brought to light. The choir performs a movement from the mass alongside Igor Stravinsky’s Ave Maria, Francis Poulenc’s idiosyncratic Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence andOlivier Messiaen’s tender O sacrum convivium.
The programme also includes Samuel Barber’s moving Agnus Dei, and two English choral favourites from those interwar years, William Harris’s Faire is the Heav’n and Edgar Bainton’s And I saw a new Heaven.
|What||Music Between the Wars, Temple Church|
|Where||Temple Church, Temple, EC4Y 7BB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Temple (underground)|
On 14 Mar 19, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|