Axminster and District Choral Society to sing John Rutter’s Gloria

PUBLISHED: 17:12 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:12 11 April 2017

Axminster and District Choral Society

Axminster and District Choral Society


Members of the Axminster and District Choral Society are excited at the prospect of performing two choral works from the 20th century at their forthcoming concert on Saturday, April 29.

Harriet MountfordHarriet Mountford

John Rutter’s Gloria was composed in 1974 and is well established in the choral repertoire. It is in three movements, which correspond roughly to traditional symphonic structure. The accompaniment of brass ensemble with timpani, percussion and organ makes a joyful noise in the outer movements, but is used more softly and introspectively in the middle movement. Rutter’s range of influences spans both classical and popular traditions.

Rutter has said: “We can all learn from each other. I listen to all sorts of music – not just choral. –I pick up sounds and ideas from many parts of the world. The wonderful thing about choirs around the world is that they don’t all sound alike, because singing is related to speech and, for example, Russian choirs don’t sound like Swedish or Cuban or South African choirs. Long live the differences.”

The Gloria will be conducted by director of music Peter Parshall and the soloist will be Harriet Mountford, who is welcomed back after her fine performance in the autumn concert Alexander’s Feast.

A first class honours graduate from York University, Harriet lives in Berkshire with her husband, John, where she enjoys a varied career of oratorio, recital and consort singing, alongside her teaching commitment at The Abbey Junior School in Reading.

Harriet will be in Axminster again in June to give a recital of Lieder, Mélodie and English song, depicting A Lover’s Journey, as part of the Axminster Lunchtime Recital Series Music at the Minster.

Joseph Jongen’s Messe en l’honeur du Saint-Sacrement, Opus 130 is a work of great lyrical and melodic power. It is a harmonically-rich piece in six movements, part of the French tradition, with musical ties to Fauré and Franck.

Jongen began to write this mass in 1945. It was composed in memory of his brother Alphonse, who had died after a difficult operation. It had been a bad time for Joseph. His son had been arrested by the Gestapo and was in a concentration camp. He said: “Jacques was in Buchenwald… Suddenly … we learnt that he was in Weimar and was soon to be liberated by the Americans - what a resurrection! It was then that I began to write the Mass.”

It will be performed by full choir with organ and brass ensemble.

The solo parts will be sung by four young members of the University of Exeter Chapel Choir. Anna Sharman – soprano, Olivia Parr – alto, Sam Foster – tenor, Jacob Harrison – bass.

Judy Martin, associate director of music, will conduct.

Tickets £15 and £12 from Archway Books, Church Street, Axminster, members of the choir or phone 01404 881 838. For further information see

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