Sign In

BRITTEN

BRITTEN Centennial: PROFANA and SACRA

Eso-Britten-web400

Benjamin Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) is perhaps one of the most famed British composers of the 20th century.  His choral music has been championed by choirs throughout the world, with several notable titles considered standard repertoire for choral ensembles.  His most famous choral work is perhaps Ceremony of Carols written in 1942 for treble voices and harp. This concert will feature Britten’s  a cappella oeuvre, taking  its title from Britten’s work Sacred and Profane which sets eight medieval lyrics composed for the Wilbye Consort of Voices in 1975.

Britten had a long relationship with poetry and poets, especially his friend W. H. Auden.  Hymn to St. Celia, which will be heard on both weekends of the concert,  was one of many collaborations between the poet and composer.  When Auden sent the poem to Britten, it is said he included advice to him on how to be a better artist.  It might have been Auden’s final blow in their often contemptuous relationship, as it was the last time they worked together.

A.M.D.G.  (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)  is  Britten’s 1939 setting of seven poems  by Gerard Manley Hopkins, aptly illuminating Hopkins’ sentiments.  A Boy Was Born  (1958) uses  texts from Ancient English Christmas Carols, and is perhaps one of Britten’s most complicated choral works to perform.  Spectacular polyphony and soaring tessituras make for an exciting anchor to our SACRA concert.  Familiar chorales and some not so familiar pieces appear on both concerts, notably Phillip’s Breeches, which was written on holiday with composer Lennox Berkeley, sets a poem about a boy graduating to the “long trousers” of manhood.

Please join The Esoterics as we celebrate the life and music of this master choral composer!

britten100_logo_red

PROFANA 

Purchase Tickets for PROFANA

Friday 22 November 7:00pm
First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach
18354 8th Ave NW • Shoreline

Saturday 23 November 8:00 pm
St Joseph Catholic Church
732 18th Ave E • Seattle

Sunday 24 November 2:00 pm
Holy Rosary Catholic Church
4210 SW Genesee St • West Seattle

Program:

Advance democracy (1938)
A.M.D.G. (1939)
Carry her over the water (1941)
Choral dances from ‘Gloriana’ (1953)
Five flower songs (1950)
Hymn to St Cecilia (1942/1966)
Philip’s breeches (1936)
Sacred and profane (1975)
We are the darkness in the heat of the day (1956)

SACRA

Purchase Tickets for SACRA

Friday 6 December 7:00pm
First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach
18354 8th Ave NW • Shoreline

Saturday 7 December 8:00 pm
All Pilgrims Christian Church
500 Broadway E • Seattle

Sunday 8 December 2:00 pm
Holy Rosary Catholic Church
4210 SW Genesee St • West Seattle

Program:

A boy was born (1933)
Chorale after an old French carol (1944)
Christ’s nativity (1931)
Deus in adjutorium meum (1945)
A hymn to the virgin (1930/1934)
A shepherd’s carol (1944)
The sycamore tree (1934/1967)
Whoso dwelleth under the defense… (1937)