The Consort Of Twelve promise late Bach masterpiece for Festival of Chichester

Consort of Twelve
Consort of Twelve

A late choral masterpiece by J S Bach is the 2019 Festival of Chichester contribution from The Consort Of Twelve in St Paul’s Church, Northgate, Chichester on Sunday, July 7 at 6pm.

The Consort and Portsmouth Baroque Choir perform one of Bach’s greatest choral works, his B minor Mass. Written late in Bach’s life, it features a rich array of solo instruments including flutes, oboes, a natural horn, three natural trumpets and timpani and includes some of his most intricate and deeply-felt religious inspirations, as cellist Lynden Cranham explains.

“In April 2014 the Consort of Twelve and the Portsmouth Baroque Choir, conducted by Malcolm Keeler, performed Handel’s Messiah to great acclaim. This year Malcolm has a special birthday and is fulfilling a long-held ambition by conducting the same ensembles in Bach’s great B Minor Mass in the Festival of Chichester.

“The B Minor Mass inspires this kind of special devotion, and it’s an extraordinary experience to perform it with these forces. It is generally agreed to be one of the greatest choral masterpieces in music history, but Bach never heard it performed in its entirety.

“There are many marvellous moments in the work, but perhaps the most unusual is the Quoniam, for bass soloist and natural horn (the baroque version of the French horn) - the only time the horn plays in the entire piece. The vocal soloists will be Fiona Fraser (soprano), Sian Bibby-Hsia (soprano), Toby Forster (alto), Ryan Williams (tenor) and Humphrey Thompson (bass).

“Later in the year, on September 15 the Consort will be in Bosham Church, directed by Lucy Russell and recreating the type of coffee-house concert that composer Georg Telemann put on in Leipzig. We will round off the year on December 1 in St John’s Chapel, Chichester, with violinist Kati Debretzeni, in a programme including double violin concertos by Bach and Vivaldi, and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.”

Tickets for the B Minor Mass are £15 (18 and under £8) from: Festival of Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH (01243 775888); Phillip and Philip Hairdressers, 7 Baffins Court, Baffins Lane, Chichester, PO19 1UA.; on 01243 782353 and online at

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