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‘Heavenly Sounds’ Concert at St Peter’s

“Heavenly Sounds” in Shaftesbury - Singers from Germany with romantic church music and spirituals

On Wednesday 23rd May four professional singers from Germany will fill St Peter's church with the glorious sound of romantic church music. Their programme includes works by Mozart, Fauré, Franck, Elgar and Britten, together with a selection of traditional spirituals arranged for four voices.The ensemble comes from Soest, a small cathedral city in Westfalia and their name “SONGS” is short for “Soest's New Guild of Singers”.

The group have been singing together for 12 years. Jana Stehr has made a name across Europe with her vibrant soprano voice – she has been a soloist with the Prague opera, a regular singer in the Cologne Philharmonie. Her colleagues Maren Tröndle (mezzo-soprano) and Frank Rinsche (tenor) are both known in Westfalia as interpreters of church music. The baritone Peter Griffith is actually British (as one might guess from his name), but he has been living in Germany for over 30 years. Peter's humorously informative introductions to the songs are an integral part of “heavenly sounds”. The fifth member of SONGS is the pianist Bettina Casdorff, who holds the ensemble together, with energy and musicality; a highly successful chamber musician and accompanist, and gives concerts all over Germany with her trio “Tityre”.

 The group's repertoire is wide, extending from classical part-songs to scenes from Mozart operas, and from Viennese operetta to Gershwin musicals. For their “Heavenly Sounds” programme in May, they have chosen a rich selection of English, French and German religious music from the romantic era, including Fauré's exquisite “Cantique de Racine” and Elgar's magnificent “Ave Verum”. These are followed by a sequence of spirituals both lively and emotional, ranging from old favourites like “Deep River” to less familiar works like “Just a Closer Walk with Thee”. All four singers are accustomed to performing as soloists, and the programme includes not only works for four voices, but also solos, duets and trios.

The concert “Heavenly Sounds” begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 23rd May.

Tickets cost £10, and are available at the door. 

You can pick up a flyer from St Peter's.