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    Parallel Gifts - Kindred composers, separated by centuries

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    Event description

    Supertonic presents Parallel Gifts - Kindred composers, separated by centuries

    Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, 2 Hill Street, Thorndon, Wellington

    Saturday 25 May 2024, 7.30pm


    You might have heard of Supertonic’s recent exploits - a Swing music extravaganza, a video game themed saga, and a rock concert of Elton John’s 70s hits. With this concert, Supertonic presents a classical music concert that’s both accessible and nuanced.

    On 25 May in the beautiful acoustic of Wellington Cathedral, Supertonic will perform Parallel Gifts: Kindred composers, separated by centuries. The choir will explore the unique, deep and fascinating relationships between two sets of composers - Britten and Purcell, and Mendelssohn and Bach - and the musical notes that shaped their compositions. 
    Isaac Newton once wrote to rival scientist Robert Hooke about his discoveries, saying “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.

    Britten and Mendelssohn are two of the biggest giants in Classical music - but even composers as prolific as them knew that by looking to the past, they could see even further into the future. Despite Bach’s music being everywhere from advertising to your nephew’s Grade 2 piano exam, we wouldn’t even know who he was if Mendelssohn hadn’t been obsessed enough with his predecessor’s music to dig up the old scores and stage a huge performance of the St Matthew Passion nearly 100 years after Bach had died. 

    Benjamin Britten knew he could make his mark on the world because he found the voice of a fellow English composer who’d died over 200 years earlier - Henry Purcell. Britten’s style is quirky, innovative and unique, just like the Baroque composer’s music he was devoted to. 
    This concert will juxtapose some of their most famous compositions - Britten’s secular Hymn to St Cecilia and Purcell’s own dedication to the patron saint of music, Hail Bright Cecilia. Bach’s very famous cantata chorale Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring will be presented alongside one of Mendelssohn’s beautiful and soul-calming Verleih uns FriedenWe’ll also be bracketing sacred anthems, operatic music, oratorio excerpts, and we’re particularly excited to present one of Bach’s renowned motets, Lobet den Herrn. 

    Parallel Gifts will be a fresh offering for Supertonic after several consecutive performances of contemporary works, presenting meaty classical music for every audience member - whether this is your first time hearing Bach live or whether you go to every performance of Britten you can get your hands on. Supertonic hopes to show that classical music can be cross-cultural and cross-generational.


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