A group of local musicians enjoyed a weekend in Falaise earlier this month, taking part in an international choral concert. Organised and conducted by one Falaise’s English residents, Keiran McNiff, the concert included a 90-strong choir of singers from Preston, Brighton, Paris and Falaise itself, accompanied by orchestral players from Henley and Caen.
The occasion was a performance of the ‘Sunrise Mass’ by Norwegian composer Ola Gjielo, a moving work for choir and string orchestra composed in 2008. Chris Walker, conductor of Benson Choral Society, writes “When Keiran asked me to bring a few friends over to Falaise to play in a concert, we had no idea that we would be playing in the magnificent church of St Gervaise to an audience of over four hundred, or that we would be lucky enough to be playing such a wonderful atmospheric and moving new choral work. I shall certainly be introducing my own choir to this very special and approachable piece.”
A number of shorter sacred choral works formed the first part of the concert including Mozart’s ‘Ave Verum’ and ‘Laudate Dominum’ and Faure’s ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’. A long standing ovation brought the evening to a close.