Concert posters from recent years are shown below. If you would like to know which works Oxford Harmonic Choir is performing this season, visit the Concerts page.
For a complete list of works performed since 1921, please click here.
2023 – 2024 Season
Conductor Robert Secret
The Orchestra of Stowe Opera
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.
26 November 2022, 7.30 pm, Oxford Town Hall
Oxford Harmonic Choir’s new season opens with a seasonal classic: J.S. Bach’s much-loved Christmas Oratorio. The work is made up of six cantatas, each focusing on one aspect of the Christmas story, originally performed on separate days over the Christmas period. We will perform part 1, The birth of Jesus; part 3, The adoration of the shepherds; part 5, The journey of the magi; part 6, The adoration of the magi. The opening words of part 1 ‘Jauchzet, frohlocket’ ‘Rejoice, exult’, set the tone of the whole sequence. This is Bach at his most joyful and celebratory, especially in the splendid choruses that open each part.
1 April 2023, 7.30 pm, Oxford Town Hall
For our spring concert, we will perform another huge favourite with audiences and singers alike: Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah. First performed in Birmingham Town Hall in 1846, it contains some of the composer’s greatest music, with magnificent choruses, beautiful arias and imaginative orchestration. The story from the Old Testament, containing many natural phenomena – drought, fire, rain, and earthquake – offers much scope for expressive writing, and the work combines many moments of high drama with more lyrical passages of the kind normally associated with the composer. Together with Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation, Elijah forms a trio of the most popular oratorios in the choral repertoire.
10 June 2023, 7.30 pm, Oxford Town Hall
Our summer concert offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy and compare the two requiems of Fauré (first performed 1888 and revised for performances in 1893 and 1900) and Duruflé (written 1947, revised 1948 and 1961). Both composers chose a similar set of texts (omitting most of the terrifying Dies Irae and adding in the final hopeful In Paradisum) and both adopted an intimate, reflective approach to these texts. Both, too, took inspiration from plainsong. The Fauré is famously lyrical and serene, while the Duruflé moves between tranquillity and anguished drama. Comments posted by listeners on performances that can be heard on YouTube testify to the emotional power of both.