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Two generations of Bach and a reimagined chorale open The Edinburgh Singers 2019/20 season

Immortal Bach, a reimagined Bach chorale by Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt, brings a contemporary twist to the Bach-themed opening concert of The Edinburgh Singers’ 2019-20 season on Saturday 2 November in St Mary’s Cathedral. Featuring chorales by JS Bach, CPE Bach and JC Bach, as well as JS Bach’s First Cello Suite, the concert also showcases pieces for cello and choir by John Tavener and Ēriks Ešenvalds. Renowned local cellist and Assistant Principal Cello of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Su-a Lee, joins The Edinburgh Singers for the first time.

Knut Nystedt (1915-2014), took JS Bach’s chorale ‘Komm, süsser Tod’ (‘Come, sweet Death’) as the starting point for his work Immortal Bach. By prolonging and overlapping the successive chords, Nystedt makes the music literally ‘time-less’, symbolising the immortality of the great composer.

John Tavener’s Syvati (1995) is built on a liturgical text and features a virtuoso solo cello part which plays in dialogue to the choir. Ēriks Ešenvalds’ In Paradisum for choir, cello and off-stage viola (2012) is a homophonic setting of the Requiem Mass. These contemporary pieces will perfectly complement the homophony of the well-known Bach chorales, and the whole programme will be enriched by the acoustic setting of St Mary’s Cathedral.

Musical Director, Alistair Digges, said:“I’m always looking for new exciting musical adventures to go on with The Edinburgh Singers. I’m particularly excited to have the chance to collaborate with the wonderful cellist, Su-a Lee, and we have exciting ideas of how to use magnificent setting of St Mary’s Cathedral to bring this varied programme to life in what will hopefully be quite a unique way! I think the sound world of solo cello with choral forces is something really special and hopefully our audience will enjoy going on this emotional musical journey with us.”

Tickets (£12/£10; under 12s free) are available from The Queen’s Hall box office, 0131 668 2019 or on the door of the concert at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Immortal Bach
Saturday 2 November 2019 at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh

Tickets (£12/£10; under 12s free) available from The Queen’s Hall box office, 0131 668 2019 or on the door.