Britten’s “The Company of Heaven”

Sep 23, 2012

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The subject is angels. The timing is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the inaugural broadcast. The piece is Benjamin Britten’s choral work “The Company of Heaven,” which shall be performed this Saturday, September 29th, at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church.

Britten was known for not only operatic works, but symphonies, instrumental works and “a large body of exemplary choral work.”

“The Company of Heaven” is a cantata that was written expressly for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) when Britten was only 23 years old. It debuted on September 29, 1937. The date of the premiere was Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael (who is considered by many Christians as “the greatest of all Archangels for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven”).

Timothy Howard will be conducting the Kirk Choir, and performing will be soprano Judith Siirila, tenor Micheal Smith, narrators Frances Nicholson and Ray Quiett, and the Friends of Music Orchestra. This is one of nine events in the PPC’s concert series, which runs through June 2013.

A pre-concert lecture will be given by the Pasadena Star-News music critic Robert D. Thomas and a reception will follow the concert.

Benjamin Britten’s “The Company of Heaven” Cantata
Saturday, Sept. 29th at 7:30 p.m. Pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.
Pasadena Presbyterian Church, 585 E. Colorado Blvd., at Madison Ave.
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