Shining Night: A Celebration of Morten Lauridsen’s Life and Music

September 28th, 2012

Sunday 7th October 2012

Venue: Elphinstone Hall

3.30pm – Come and Sing

6.00pm – The Composer Portrait concert, followed by film screening and Q and A with the filmmaker.

Come & Sing – Composer Portrait – UK Film Premiere. Two Aberdeen choirs join with members of the public to celebrate the work of America’s most performed living composer.

Considered one of the most important living composers of choral music, Morten Lauridsen received an honorary doctorate from the University of Aberdeen in 2007, and the National Medal for the Arts a year later. Partly filmed at the University of Aberdeen and at Con Anima’s recording session at Blair’s Museum, Michael Stillwater’s award-winning documentary Shining Night explores the work of Morten Lauridsen, and features performances by the University of Aberdeen Choral Society, Symphony Orchestra and Con Anima Chamber Choir. Now the film returns to Scotland, receiving its UK premier here in Aberdeen as part of an evening of musical celebration for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Members of the public are invited to come and sing alongside the Choral Society and Con Anima Chamber Choir, under the direction of conductors Professor Paul Mealor and Chris Gray, participating in a short concert of contemporary choral music. All levels of ability welcome, with a short practice before the performance. Following this, we shall screen the film itself, followed by a question and answer session with Michael Stillwater.

All events of the day are free, with the option to take part in the concert or just attend the concert and screening if you prefer.  If you wish to take part in the concert please register for both events.

REGISTER TO BOOK HERE

Contact: events@abdn.ac.uk

 

Concert: Mealor – Stabat Mater

May 15th, 2012
 

Saturday 2nd June 2012

7.30pm, Dornoch Cathedral, Sutherland, IV25 3HN

 

Con Anima Chamber Choir, conducted by Professor Paul Mealor, would like to invite you to our first ever performance in Dornoch Cathedral on Saturday, 2nd June at 7.30pm.

 

The concert will include popular choral music from Royal Celebrations, works from Con Anima’s recently released CD, Madrigali: Fire and Roses, and Paul Mealor’s own moving setting of the Stabat Mater featuring soprano Jillian Bain Christie and pianist Drew Tulloch.

Con Anima will also perform music by Elgar, Jones, Mathias, Parry and Mealor’s beautiful motet Ubi Caritas, composed for the wedding of HRH Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton, now The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.

We would be delighted if you could join us for this concert. A flyer with details of the event is attached.

Entry Free (donations welcome)

www.conanima.org.uk

www.paulmealor.com

Come and Sing – Music from Royal Celebrations

April 2nd, 2012

Saturday 12st May 2012

Craigiebuckler Church, Springfield Road Aberdeen, AB15 8AA

Workshops 10.30am to 5.00pm

Performance 7.30pm
Craigiebuckler Church

 

Fast becoming an annual fixture, Con Anima’s third Come & Sing event will take place in Craigiebuckler Church in Aberdeen.  In this Jubilee year, we will learn a variety of music written for royal celebrations: from Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” to Mealor’s “Ubi Caritas”, and many more besides! In the evening, singers and audience are invited to enjoy a short performance by Con Anima Chamber Choir, before the choir are joined by the day’s participants for the main event.

A Right Royal Come and Sing workshops have sold out!

Due to popular demand there are no more spaces available for this year’s Come and Sing workshop on 12th May. We would however be delighted to see you for the evening’s performance, 7.30pm at Craigiebuckler Church in Aberdeen. Tickets are £5 and will be available on the door or via the Con Anima Shop. Come and enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Email us via info@conanima.org.uk, or phone our secretary Anne Hingston on 01224 780760.  We hope you can join us for this day of jubilation!

Concert: Händel’s Messiah

January 26th, 2012
 

 

 

 

Saturday 31st March 2012, 7pm

St Machar’s Cathedral
Old Aberdeen
Admission £15, £10 (concession), £5 (students)
Tickets available from the Aberdeen Box Office
01224 641122

Join us for a special performance of the Messiah to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week in the stunning setting of St Machar’s Cathedral. Two hundred and sixty years after its first performance, Handel’s masterpiece is not only one of the best-loved but also still one of the most powerful and moving oratorios ever written.Con Anima Chamber Choir will be joined by the Con Anima Chamber Orchestra and will be directed from the harpsichord by acclaimed conductor and keyboard player, Roger B Williams.Click on thumbnail to view poster, (1MB)

Review (Scotsman): Madrigali: Fire & Roses

December 12th, 2011

Madrigali: Fire and Roses
Divine Art, £13.99
Rating: ****

‘MADRIGALI: Fire and Roses is a golden blend of a cappella repertoire, both ancient and modern, sung by the fresh voices of Aberdeen’s Con Anima Chamber Choir under its director Paul Mealor. Mealor’s own music is featured in the juicy atmospherics of his short choral cycle, Now sleeps the crimson petal. So are two beautifully crafted works by the American composer Morten Lauridsen, including the disc’s title track Madrigali, vivid modern settings of Italian Renaissance poems that harness echoes of Monteverdi. Genuine Renaissance madrigals by the stylistically anarchic Gesualdo, John Wilbye and others, including Monteverdi himself, are complemented by more recent settings by Holst and James MacMillan.’
KENNETH WALTON, Scotsman (December 2011)

Review (Classical Music Sentinel): Madrigali: Fire & Roses

December 12th, 2011

The following review appeared on Classical Music Sentinel

MADRIGALI: Fire and Roses – Con Anima Chamber Choir – Paul Mealor (Conductor) –
809730509421 – Released: October 2011 – Divine Art DDA25094

Morten Lauridsen – Madrigali: Six ‘fire songs’ on Italian Renaissance poems
Claudio Monteverdi – Se per havervi, oimè
Carlo Gesualdo – Luci serene e chiare
Vincenzo Ruffo – Lo piango
Girolamo Scotto – Amor, io sento l’alma
Yvo Barry – Quando son piu lontan
Henricus Schaffen – Ov’è, lass’, il bel viso?
Paul Mealor – Now sleeps the crimson petal
Anonymous – There is no rose
John Ward – Upon a bank with roses set about
John Wilbye – Lady, when I behold the roses
Gustav Holst – Now sleeps the crimson petal
James MacMillan – So deep
Morten Lauridsen – Chanson éloignée

A luminous collection of a cappella choral works spanning five centuries, the showpiece of which is the Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal cycle, by Paul Mealor himself, of which the first movement was personally chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton (now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) as the musical centerpiece of the April 2011 Royal wedding service. An impressive choral work that superbly combines the clean and open harmonies of the Renaissance, with the more distant harmonic intervals of today, and sits within a pitch range that always serves the four individual voice parts extremely well. An evocative work that at times demands vocal gymnastics from the singers, but most of all commands a beauty and richness of sound too often absent from today’s music.

The Scottish Con Anima Chamber Choir is quickly establishing a reputation as a choral ensemble that can comfortably adapt to the various demands of music past and present, as evidenced on this new recording. From John Ward, to Gustav Holst, to Morten Lauridsen, their delivery enhances the music’s character and style, and never sounds as if out of its element. The blend of voices from the basses to the sopranos is always in perfect equilibrium, and could be compared to a supple and malleable fabric that conductor Paul Mealor can easily mold and shape to fit the music at hand.

The Divine Art sound recording has calibrated the distance between you and the choir very well, giving it a tangible and realistic feel that wraps you in a warm blanket of sound. You will understand what I mean when you hear the final chord of the Paul Mealor work.

Jean-Yves Duperron – November 2011

A Celebration Nine Lessons & Carols

November 14th, 2011
Thursday 15th December 2011, 7:00 pm

St Margaret’s
Gallowgate
Aberdeen

Admission: Free

Join us for a traditional Christmas service, this year in the beautiful St Margaret’s on the Gallowgate.
The service will be followed by tea/coffee and mince pies.

Please click the image to download a poster.

CD Launch – Madrigali: Fire and Roses

October 22nd, 2011
Sunday 13th November 2011, 8:00 pm

St Mary’s Cathedral
Huntly Street, Aberdeen  AB10 1SH
Admission £10/£5 concession
Available on the door

(Click on thumbnail to view CD cover)

Paul Mealor, conductor

Madrigali: Fire & Roses, Con Anima’s second CD which will be launched in this concert, explores music of love and passion. Italian and English Renaissance works are set against contemporary interpretations of the same texts by composers Morten Lauridsen in his Madrigali: Six ‘fire songs’ on Italian Renaissance Poems and in Paul Mealor’s Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.

Concert – St Machar’s Festival of Sacred Music

September 26th, 2011
Saturday 1st October 2011, 7:30 pmPart of St Machar’s Cathedral Festival of Sacred Music

St Machar’s Cathedral
Old Aberdeen
Admission £10/£8 concession, Student/Under 21 Free
Tickets available on the door

Conducted by Sam Paul and Ed Jones

Since its foundation in 2001, Con Anima Chamber Choir has built up an impressive reputation and is now north-east Scotland’s finest chamber choir.

This performance will feature contemporary music from the UK and Europe, including works by Arvo Pärt and fellow Estonian composer Eriks Esenvalds as well as Maurice Duruflé’s beautiful Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens.

Particular highlights will be the première of O Vos Omnes, a new work by Ed Jones, Con Anima’s recently appointed Chorusmaster, and the Scottish première of Salvator Mundi by Paul Mealor, Con Anima’s Musical Director, whose music was chosen for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Congratulations Paul!

April 28th, 2011

It was announced this morning that a piece composed by Paul Mealor, principal conductor of Con Anima Chamber Choir, has been chosen for the wedding service of Prince William & Catherine Middleton. We’re all absolutely thrilled for him, and will be glued to our TV sets tomorrow!

To quote the official royal blog:

The Anthem will be followed by the Motet ‘Ubi caritas’ by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer, who is currently Reader in Composition at The University of Aberdeen.

Mr. Mealor’s composing studio is on the Isle of Anglesey, where Prince William and Miss Middleton live. This version of ‘Ubi caritas’ was written on Anglesey and premiered at the University of St. Andrews in November 2010.

Ubi Caritas is based on Paul’s Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, the piece premiered in St Andrews by the joint chamber choirs of the University of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews, including some of Con Anima’s singers.

Con Anima also recorded Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal last November under Paul’s direction. This is now available as a downloadable single here.

Congratulations again Paul!