On Wednesday 27th March, a substantial audience/congregation enjoyed a moving evening of music, dramatic readings and art on the theme of Christ’s Passion entitled “My Song is Love Unknown”. The music included:
‘Agnus Dei’ and ‘Silent, Surrendered’ by M Rizza.
‘Stabat Mater’ Words by Jacopone da Todi, Music by Giovanni Battista Pergolisi.
‘Jesus Remember Me’ by J Berthier.
‘Contemporary Reproaches’, ‘The Last Journey’ and ‘Be Still and Know That I Am God’ by John Bell.
‘The Blessing of Aaron’ by N Ramsey.
as well a flute solo ‘The Blessed Spirits’ by Gluck.
‘Stabat Mater’ – The text is a 13th Century hymn to Mary; this Medieval poem meditates on the suffering of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, during the crucifixion. The poem has been set to music by many composers, including Palestrina, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Haydn, Rossini and Dvorak.
Pergolesi (1710-1736) was an Italian composer, violinist and organist. He was an important composer of early Italian operas and also of much sacred music. This piece, which remains his most well‑known work, was originally written for male soprano, male alto, string orchestra and continuo.
The Artwork – The images illustrate a wide diversity of artistic styles and media covering a period of six centuries. Not all are European either; the Aboriginal ‘Road to Calvary’, the ‘Pieta’ from Manchuria, together with an African Christ, speak strongly to us as the Rembrandt ‘Crucifixion’ or the poignant ‘Lily Crucifix’, the Velasquez and the 15th Century engraving ‘Man of Sorrows’. More disturbingly, perhaps, are Chagall’s ‘The White Crucifixion’ and the Stanley Spenser ‘The Crucifixion’ together with the ‘Electric Crucifixion’ painted by an Ethiopian artist.
Those taking part included the soloists: Soprano, Sarah Garrett; Mezzo-Soprano, Bethan Scotford and Flute, Mari van Hulzen; as well as organist and accompanist Joan Upton-Holder.
A retiring collection raised £260 for the charity “Christians against Torture“.