Oxford Harmonic Choir concerts are held in major central Oxford venues:
- Oxford Town Hall
- Sheldonian Theatre
2023 – 2024 Season
Sunday 26 November 2023, Oxford Town Hall
One of Handel’s greatest oratorios, with stunning choruses, Solomon is a wonderful combination of the contemplative, the dramatic and the lyrical. Handel brings to life a picture of the Golden Age where religion, justice, nature and art are all in harmony, and, as ever, he gives expression to a wide range of human emotions. Highlights include the paean to married love in the first part, with the nightingale chorus; the dramatic music for the quarrel over the baby in part two; and in the final part the justly celebrated overture ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’, and the choral masque in praise of music.
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Saturday 23 March 2024, Oxford Town Hall
Our spring concert consists of two highly expressive choral works, together with Smetana’s well-known symphonic poem Vyšehrad . The Music Makers is a setting of Ode by the Victorian poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy. It is intensely personal: Elgar wrote ‘I have written out my soul … I have shown myself’, and he includes quotations from earlier works, including the famous theme from Nimrod. The work moves between triumph and melancholy, ending quietly with the opening words; ‘We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.’ Brahms was responding to a poem by the German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin, ‘Schicksalslied’, which contrasts the everlasting bliss of the immortals with the suffering of humanity, both wonderfully evoked in Brahms’s music.
Saturday 29 June 2024, Oxford Town Hall
The magnificent Nelson Mass is one of Haydn’s six late great masses and, according to H.C. Robbins Landon, ‘arguably Haydn’s greatest single composition’. From the dramatic opening Kyrie, with the soaring soprano solo line, to the exuberant Dona Nobis Pacem, the music pulsates with energy and unflagging vitality. There are many shifts of mood and tone but the final effect is celebratory. It is the work of a composer at the height of his powers. Mendelssohn’s uplifting and lovely Lauda Sion, written to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Feast of Corpus Christi, for the Church of St Martin in Liège, completes the programme. Not to be missed!