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Sacred Concert - songs from the cage | Hertfordshire Chorus

Saturday July 9, 2022 at 19:30
West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
£20, £16, £12, £5 (school children and students)
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  1. Sacred Concert - Duke Ellington
  2. Songs from the Cage - Roland Perrin

Roland Perrin’s Songs from the cage for choir and big band was commissioned by Hertfordshire Chorus and was premiered in April 2002.

The gritty text is taken from poems by the ‘laureate of American lowlife’ Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994) whose subject matter is the seedier side of Californian life. The music is essentially jazz-based but with influences ranging from JS Bach to Duke Ellington, via Stravinsky.

Between 1965 and 1973, the jazz maestro Duke Ellington wrote what he described as the most important music he had ever written: three enormous works that combined elements of jazz, classical music, choral music, spirituals, gospel and blues. He called them his Sacred Concerts and they were performed throughout the world in churches and cathedrals – but the size and scale of these works means that they have rarely been performed since in their original form.

Sacred Concert is a compilation of the three works, taking the spirit of the piece and its desire to speak to people from all walks of life – from Ellington’s loyal fanbase to stoic churchgoers who perhaps wouldn’t expect to find themselves at a ‘jazz’ concert – and is performed here with big band, choir and soprano soloist.

West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road

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