The BSC maintains a regular programme of commissioning new works, and the current project is the production, performance and recording of Pietà, an exciting new 45-minute work by Richard Blackford.
At its core is a setting of the Stabat Mater; but it also includes settings of two relevant poems by the celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova from her poem cycle Requiem. Her first husband, Nikolay Gumilyov, was executed by the Soviet secret police, and her son, Lev Gumilyov and her common-law husband Nikolay Punin spent many years in the Gulag, where Punin died. The poems echo the words in Stabat Mater reflecting the grief of a mother for her son, in this case Lev, a student at Leningrad University, who, in 1938, at the height of Stalin’s terror, was arrested in his dormitory room and shipped to an Arctic labour camp. For 17 months his mother waited in queues and wrote letters to police officials beseeching them to tell her the fate of her son. Her struggle is immortalised in “Requiem”, her most famous work. Alternating between elegy, lamentation and witness, it culminates in its most famous stanza:
For you my son, my horror.
I flung myself at the hangman’s feet,
Calling you home.
For seventeen months I’ve been crying out,
The music embraces the passion and energy of these words.
It involves adult and children’s choruses, mezzo and baritone soloists, saxophone and string orchestra.
Immediately after the première on Saturday 22 June 2019 in Poole, the BSC will record Pietà for Nimbus. A high-quality recording will help to promote the work to choirs, listeners, performers and audiences world-wide.
The well-known solo singers are Jennifer Johnston, mezzo, and Stephen Gadd, baritone, both of whom have sung with us before, and both with international careers; the young star saxophonist is Amy Dickson, Classical Brit Award winner. The musicians involved are the BSC, BSYC and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The conductor will be Gavin Carr, to whom the work is dedicated. .
The work will be repeated at the Cadogan Hall in London on Saturday 19th October, again with the BSO.
Why do we need your help?
Members of the BSC and BSYC are not paid, but recording costs arise from venue hire, technical input, production work, and for the professional musicians participating. The recording will be overseen by the highly regarded producer Andrew Walton. The conductor will be Gavin Carr, to whom the work is dedicated.
Nimbus will promote and distribute the recording world-wide. The recording will cost around £23K, of which the BSC still needs to raise £10K, and we hope that you will want to support us in helping to make this project a reality. Producing a high-quality recording incurs considerable expense, most of which will be borne by the BSC. Some of the funding has already been raised through our own efforts during the last year, but we need your support to raise the rest of the money needed.
Please make a donation and share our campaign with others you know.
To donate towards our recording costs please click on one of the Just Donate buttons on the right.
If you have any questions about this project, or about the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus please email email@example.com for more information
Find out more about the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus from our website, Facebook page and Twitter
About the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus (BSC)
The BSC was founded as the Bournemouth Municipal Choir (BMC) by Sir Dan Godfrey in 1911 to sing with his Municipal Orchestra. The BMC was renamed as the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus (now with 160 members) in 1979 and performs with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra but is operationally and financially independent of the BSO. The BSC is a separately registered Charity - No 1040282
The BSC has sung most of the major symphonic choral works under internationally renowned conductors in many of the UK’s great concert halls and abroad. The Chorus has performed in the USA, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, Israel and India and is regularly broadcast by Radio 3 and Classic FM.
The BSC has been working with Chorus Director Gavin Carr since 2009. The quality of the sound and energy of the Chorus’s performances have been attributed to this dynamic relationship. The BSC’s performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony at the beginning of the current season achieved a 5-star review in both The Times and The Guardian, with The Guardian rating this concert as one of the top ten musical events of 2018.
An important part of the BSC’s work in developing young singers is increasing the choral symphonic repertoire for adult and children’s choruses. Our commissions always involve our Children's Choir & Youth Chorus.
Working with young people
An important part of the BSC’s work is developing young singers and encouraging a lifelong involvement in choral singing. The Bournemouth Symphony Children's Choir & Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus ( collectively referred to as the BSYC) are directed by Victoria Gray. Both choirs are financially maintained through the support of individual BSC members and Patrons.
Find out more about the BSC & BSYC on www.bschorus.co.uk