Durban Chamber Choir in concert at St Thomas’ Church


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The Durban Chamber Choir pictured by photographer Val Adamson
The Durban Chamber Choir pictured by photographer Val Adamson

The Durban Chamber Choir (DCC) appears in concert on May 28 at St Thomas’s Church, Musgrave, and on June 11 at the Lutheran Church, Hayfields, honouring the birthday of Claudio Monteverdi, and the works of another great transitional composer, Gabriel Fauré.This year marks the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth in Cremona, Italy, in 1567.

DCC will celebrate this landmark with a performance of one of the great composer’s three Latin Mass settings (identified by its date of publication, 1650). “Monteverdi lived through one of the most significant periods of change in the history of Western music-the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque style,” notes Dr Christopher Cockburn, DCC’s director. “While his 1650 Mass primarily looks back to the Renaissance, it also includes many touches of the more modern style pioneered in such works as his Vespers and his famous opera, Orfeo. This blend of old and new makes this Mass a unique musical experience.”

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“The French composer, Gabriel Fauré, whose music makes up the rest of the programme, lived during another of the great transitional moments in Western music, as Romanticism gave way to Impressionism in the second half of the 19th century,” says Cockburn. “The choir will present several of Fauré’s works for choir accompanied either by piano or organ. These include his Cantique de Jean Racine, and his famous Pavane.”

The works by Fauré will be accompanied by Jacques Heyns, and Cockburn conducts the whole programme. Refreshments will be served after each performance. Both performances start at 3pm, and last about an hour. Tickets are available at the door from 2pm, and admission to the venues is from 2.30pm. Tickets are R70 per person (student/scholar OAP concessions R40). School groups are admitted free, and group bookings may be made, by prior arrangement with the Choir (

The choir is looking to add a few tenors to their number, for an exciting program to be presented later this year- those who are interested in joining are invited to attend a concert, and talk to the committee members, or e-mail Nicole (

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