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Gisborne Choral Society preparing to perform two masterpieces in November

Members of the Gisborne Choral Society are preparing their lungs to perform two masterpieces this November.

Old French Masters features two classics of the romantic 19th century, by French composers Gounod and Faure, both are positive works of meditation and rejuvenation.

Conductor Gavin Maclean says Gounod's St Cecilia Mass begins quietly but builds into three rousing, jubilant climaxes, which will make the most of the now-familiar combination of glorious voices, organ and acoustics in St Andrew's Church.

“These are both sacred works, but music is music,” Mr Maclean says.

“Their appeal, going far beyond their mere words, does not fade with our modern secularisation, as indeed grief, joy, and wonder can never be diminished.”

The effect of a solo voice soaring over a choir is typical of the romantic period and will be familiar to lovers of Gounod's great opera Faust.

Organist Heather Easting, who performed in the Mozart concert earlier this year, is travelling up from Wellington for the event. There is a trio of soloists who sing with the choir, and Gisborne is lucky to have the same three who performed the work together in Wellington in July.

Alongside Catherine Macdonald will be Wellington's tenor Jamie Young and bass Morgan King.

The Faure Requiem is one of the all-time favourites of choral music, with the highlight of its closing chorus In Paradisum, music illustrating to perfection the spirits of the dead being wafted to paradise.

The Requiem, though gentle almost throughout, cleverly portrays the tense undercurrents of mourning in its short surges of volume.

“We are hopeful of returning to Alert Level 1 before the concert on November 21, and there will be tickets available in advance, which if the audience is limited will be a strategic advantage.”

MASTERFUL: Gisborne Choral Society are preparing to perform a range of french masterpieces in an upcoming show in November. Picture supplied