2018-2019 Season

Spring Concert

Sunday 14 April, 3 p.m. at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

Programme includes: Verdi: Quattro pezzi sacri – Four sacred pieces and Puccini: Messa di gloria.
Salomon Orchestra
Conducted by Robyn Sevastos

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) composed four individual sacred works between 1886 and the year of his death, 1897, with no intention that they would be performed as a cycle It was his publisher Ricordi who gathered them together as Four sacred pieces. Rather than chronological order of composition, they are usually performed in the order listed by Ricordi:

  1. Ave Maria, ‘on an enigmatic scale’ is for four-part mixed chorus.
  2. Stabat Mater is for mixed chorus with orchestra.
  3. Laudi alla Vergine Maria is for unaccompanied four-part women’s chorus.
  4. Te Deum is for double mixed chorus and orchestra.

As a student Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) composed a self-contained Credo, and in 1880 incorporated it in the Messa a quattro voci (Mass for four voices) that he completed as a graduation exercise. The Mass is Puccini’s only music for the church. Even at this early stage, after attending a performance of Verdi’s Aida, his work shows signs of the opera bug that was to determine most of his compositional output. Already the question arises: is this is more of an operatic mass or a sacred opera?

The Mass is scored for orchestra, four-part choir with tenor and baritone soloists. A review of the first performance in 1880 described it as having ‘much melodic charm, grandeur of conception and structure’.

After that first performance the Mass was put aside, and it disappeared from view for more than 70 years. It re-emerged in the 1950s in two rival editions with a row over publication rights. The popular title of Messa di Gloria is something of a misnomer since the work is a full mass. It was given to the first publication in 1951, maybe to reflect the extended length of the Gloria in relation to the other sections of the mass.

Summer Concert

Sunday 30 June

Further details and programme to be confirmed.
Conducted by Robyn Sevastos

Buying tickets

Assembly Hall seating plan

Assembly Hall

Tickets for concerts in the Assembly Hall – numbered seats – can be bought in advance with payment by card. A link to the Assembly Hall box office can be found alongside the concert listing above when tickets are on sale. Tickets can also be bought in person from Tunbridge Wells Gateway, 8 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2AB.

Alternatively you can avoid a booking fee and buy your tickets directly through a choir member if you know any, or order them from Gerald Chew (tel. 01892 527958, email tickets@rtwcs.org.uk) – payment is by cash or cheque only. The seating layout displayed alongside enables you to see where your seat will be when booked in this way.

Buying tickets

Other venues

Tickets for concerts in other venues – unnumbered seats – can be bought in advance with payment by card through a WeGotTickets link that can be found alongside the concert listing above when tickets are on sale.

Alternatively you can avoid a booking fee and buy your tickets directly through a choir member if you know any, or order them from Gerald Chew (tel. 01892 527958, email tickets@rtwcs.org.uk) – payment is by cash or cheque only.