Joy, prosperity, sacred songs and prayer – the ACO with the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge


The Australian Chamber Orchestra under Artistic Director and Lead Violin, Richard Tognetti, presents Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 in D minor, opus 125 in the climax of its cycle of Beethoven symphonies.

It is, of course, the ‘Choral’ Symphony and it is the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge directed by Graham Ross, that will perform with the orchestra in the final movement. Since the founding of a mixed voice ensemble in 1971, the choir maintains a schedule of tours, recordings, performances and broadcasts. It has performed with major ensembles, amongst them, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the direction of René Jacobs, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Edward Gardner; also with the Academy of Ancient Music and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. In 2000 it became the first Oxbridge mixed voice choir to perform at the BBC Proms, singing Bach’s St John Passion. The choir has a glittering array of alumni which includes Sir John Taverner, John Rutter, Ivor Bolton, Andrew Manze, Sir Roger Norrington, Richard Egarr and Nico Muhly.

Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 was completed in 1824. He wrote it at the time he was completing three other monumental works: the Hammerklavier Sonata, the Diabelli Variations and the Mass in D (Missa solemnis). It was a time when the profoundly deaf Beethoven, isolated in his silent world, in fact, began to reach beyond the individual and explore how music could promote the higher goals of public well-being and the ideals that are shared by all of humanity.

The repertoire also features music that sets the words of two great German writers, Schiller and Goethe. Presaging the Ninth Symphony are three works which both musically and philosophically point the way to Beethovens ‘Ninth’.

Messiaen’s Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father, from L’Ascension, is the fourth and final movement of his ‘meditations for orchestra’, written between completed in 1934 when he was just 26, and expressing his lifelong dedication of all his music to his Christian beliefs.

Brahms wrote extensively for the voice and the choir will join the orchestra for the Geistliches Lied , opus 30 which reflects Brahms’ interest in older forms, combining Bach-like chorales and canons.

Beethoven’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage opus 112, is a single movement cantata for chorus and orchestra with words by Goethe.

Performing with the choir and orchestra are soloists Lucy Crowe, soprano, Fiona Campbell,mezzo-soprano, Allan Clayton, tenor and Matthew Brook, bass.


MESSIAEN Prayer of Christ ascending towards his Father, from L’Ascension 

BRAHMS Geistliches Lied              

BEETHOVEN Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage  

BEETHOVEN Symphony No.9 in D minor, opus 125 Choral

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