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There Is A Country
There Is A Country

Sat, 25 May

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Bolton Parish Church of St Peter Le Moor

There Is A Country

Manchester Chamber Choir presents There Is A Country, conducted by Principal Conductor Vicente Chavarría, a programme celebrating the glories of English choral music.

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Time & Location

25 May 2024, 19:30 – 22:00

Bolton Parish Church of St Peter Le Moor, Silverwell St, Bolton BL1 1PS, UK

About the event

Manchester Chamber Choir presents There Is A Country.

Principal Conductor: Vicente Chavarría

Organist: Gary Hulme

There Is A Country includes favourites from the early-twentieth-century English choral tradition. The programme centres around Sir Hubert Parry's Songs of Farewell, one of his final works. A collection of choral motets, the Songs are settings of texts by English poets from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the Book of Common Prayer translation of Psalm 39. They represent consolation and hope at a time of great despair; Parry lost friends and students in World War I and did not live to see the armistice. His Songs of Farewell reflect both his grief and his vision for a time of peace.

In stark contrast, Parry's famous I Was Glad, written for the coronation of Edward VII in 1902, is meant to evoke the grandeur of the occasion. Frederick Bridge, then-Director of Music at Westminster Abbey, knew that the music needed to be unparalleled in scale and commissioned Parry for an Introit. We use Bolton Parish Church's wonderful Hill organ in what has become a mainstay of English music.

The programme is rounded off with music by Sir Edward Bairstow, Gerald Finzi, and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Bairstow was the longtime Director of Music at York Minster, and his Blessed City, Heavenly Salem combines a dramatic flair with a more traditional harmonic approach, common in his time. Finzi's festival anthem Lo, the full final sacrifice, written in 1946, sets paraphrases of John Donne and Thomas Traherne, and its final "Amen" is among the most celebrated choral writing of 20th-century England. This year marks the centenary of Stanford's death, and we include his exquisite Beati quorum via to honour the occasion.

It is encouraged to purchase tickets here in advance to benefit from discounted advanced ticket prices. Tickets will also be available to purchase on the night at the door before the concert starts. Card, contactless and cash payments are accepted at this event. Refreshments will be available to purchase during the interval.

About the venue

Bolton Parish Church, built in 1871, is a beautiful example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Its tower is said to be the tallest in Lancashire, with spectacular views across the area. The spacious interior contains many items of interest, including fine stained glass windows and a fine organ with three manuals and pedals.

Arriving by public transport: Bolton Parish Church is a short walk from the Interchange bus and rail link. On leaving the Interchange, turn right along Great Moor Street then, at the traffic lights, turn left onto Bradshawgate.  Cross the road and, opposite Nelson Square, turn right into Silverwell Street.  Follow this road as it bears left, and you will soon see the Parish Church ahead of you.

Arriving by road: From Bradshawgate (A575), turn into Princess Street, which is close to the junction of Bradshawgate, Churchgate and Deansgate.  At the end of Princess Street, join Silverwell Street and the Parish Church gate is immediately in front of you. There is some parking available in the church grounds. Alternatively, there are several NCP car parks close by. The nearest is Bolton St Edmund Street, which is a 10-minute walk from the church.

Accessibility and facilities: The church has toilets, including one with disabled access. The building is also wheelchair accessible.

Full Programme

C. Hubert H. Parry, I Was Glad

C. Hubert H. Parry, Songs of Farewell

- My Soul, There Is A Country

- I Know My Soul Hath Power

Edward Bairstow, Blessed City, Heavenly Salem 

C. Hubert H. Parry, Songs of Farewell

- Never Weather-beaten Sail

- There Is An Old Belief

Charles Villiers Stanford, Beati Quorum Via 

INTERVAL

C. Hubert H. Parry, Songs of Farewell

 - At The Round Earth’s

 - Lord, Let Me Know Mine End

Gerald Finzi, Lo, The Full Final Sacrifice

A digital programme can be purchased here.

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