The Durban Chamber Choir presents
Victoria / Mozart / Cockburn
Pmb: Sunday 21 July @ 3pm – Hayfields Lutheran Church
Dbn: Sunday 28 July @ 3pm – St Thomas Church, Musgrave
The ever creative and proactive Durban Chamber Choir will be presenting two glorious mid-winter concerts over two weekends in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 21 July and in Durban on 28 July under the baton of Dr Christopher Cockburn entitled “Mass Movement”.
The Durban Chamber Choir’s mid-year programme presents three musical responses to the text of the Latin Mass: Tomas Victoria’s Missa ‘O Magnum Mysterium’, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F, and Christopher Cockburn’s Festival Mass No. 3. The juxtaposition of these settings offers the audience an opportunity not only to hear strongly contrasting musical styles from three different eras, but also to compare three very different approaches to the texts themselves.
Victoria’s Mass takes its title from his own Christmas motet composed twenty years previously, building its music from motives contained in the earlier work. It represents the great era of unaccompanied polyphonic church music in 16th-century Europe. Whereas its serene, interweaving melodic lines immediately evoke associations with Gothic cathedrals, the style of Mozart’s music for the church is not very different from that of his music for the court or opera house. For the Mozart Mass, written when he was just eighteen, the choir will be joined by instrumentalists making up the standard accompaniment for choral settings in Vienna and Salzburg in the 18th century: two violin parts accompanied by string bass and organ. Cockburn’s Mass is one of several he composed for the annual Festival services held in the Anglican Cathedral in Grahamstown / Makhanda as part of the National Arts Festival. This one is for unaccompanied choir and dates from 2001. Each movement reflects the basic mood of the text (for example, joyful and energetic in the Gloria, dark and intense in the Kyrie), but the setting of the Credo, which has the longest text, presents a symbolic paradox in steadily moving away from words and towards pure music.
There will be two performances over two consecutive Sundays: in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 21 July at 3pm at Hayfields Lutheran Church and in Durban on Sunday 28 July at 3pm at St Thomas Church, Musgrave. In both cases, tickets at the door: R70 admission and R40 pensioners and children.

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