Significance of Mozart for the Phoenix Choir

Chorister Tom Kelly who will sing in Phoenix Choir's celebration of Mozart SUS-160102-083801001
Chorister Tom Kelly who will sing in Phoenix Choir's celebration of Mozart SUS-160102-083801001

Mozart’s choral works have featured prominently for the Phoenix choir in its 12 year history – such as in 2006 when the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth was celebrated with an all-Mozart programme which included his Requiem.

When Michael Fields took up the baton with Phoenix, his initial concert with them in 2012 again featured this work.

January 27 this year saw the 260th year since this son of Salzburg came to make his mark upon the world of classical music. So it is appropriate that, rather than focusing upon the piece that Mozart left incomplete as he died, performance of the choral work in this Saturday’s celebration comes from his Salzburg years.

Around 100 singers will be in the chorus since it will include a guest choir from Maastricht. It will be this enhanced choir opening the programme with the 13 year old Mozart’s delightful Te Deum.

Four notable singers join with the choir for the great Mass in C Minor which will conclude the performance: two younger up and coming soloists with two well-established ones. Lucy Cox, a soprano, regularly performs as a soloist in opera and oratorio in works, and the tenor Tom Kelly who sang as a chorister in St. Paul’s Cathedral from seven years old, and now sings with a range of respected choirs. Ansy Boothroyd takes on further soprano solos, while bass baritone is Stephen Varcoe. He will not only be heard in the Mass, but will present a selection of Mozart Lieder, accompanied by Gavin Stephens.

Phoenix Philharmonic Orchestra comprises 25 professional musicians led by Chris Phipps with a fine trombone section required since Mozart requires agility and precision when the trombone section shadows the choral lines. The players have been brought together by RCM teacher Peter Harvey, founder member of London Gabrielli brass ensemble and member of both the BBC and London Philharmonic Orchestras. Peter lives locally – at Arlington. The orchestra present the only piece from Mozart’s later years in Vienna – perhaps the most familiar piece of the evening – his Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

You can obtain tickets for this from Reid and Dean in Cornfield Road, the Tourist office or otherwise on the door for this spectacular Mozart concert, happening this Saturday at 7.30pm in All Saints Church on Grange Road, BN21 4HE.