Songs for Joséphine

Concert and summer reception
Saturday 6 July 2019, 7.30–9 pm, St Brandon’s Church, Brancepeth

About the music | Tickets and box office

Tomkins: O Praise the Lord
di Lasso: Come falda di neve
Charpentier: Le Reniement de Saint Pierre
Lotti: Crucifixus
Monteverdi: Lauda Jerusalem
Gibbons: The Silver Swan
Cecilia McDowall: The skies in their magnificence
Saint-Saëns: Calme des nuits
Saint-Saëns Les Fleurs et les arbres
Howells Walking in the snow
Gounod Prière du soir
S.S. Wesley: Ascribe unto the Lord

Guest soloists James Draper (tenor) and Patrick Owston (bass) 

About the music

Meet Joséphine Bowes: actor, artist and collector; a woman at the forefront of taste and fashion in 19th century Paris. She also became the first woman to establish a public museum and art gallery, creating the Bowes Museum and amassing a comprehensive collection of European art to display in it.  

Our summer programme pays tribute to this extraordinary woman, and her English husband John, with music chosen to reflect the range of pieces in their art collection, including the museum’s much-loved silver swan. 

An exquisite madrigal by Lassus and a mini-cantata by Charpentier, both on the subject of Peter’s denial, portray in music the same anguish that we see in the El Greco painting ‘The Tears of St Peter’. We reunite the composer Lotti with a portrait of his patron Cardinal Ottoboni, and bring together two artists closely associated in popular imagination with Venice: the painter Canaletto and the composer Monteverdi. 

In the second half of the concert we imagine ourselves at home in a grand nineteenth-century Anglo-French salon, with English and French music that touches more broadly on the landscapes and love-stories hinted at in Joséphine’s own paintings

John and Joséphine Bowes brought their art collection back to John’s family land in Teesdale, so that their collection might bring a view of the wider world to the people of the North East, and so we return to England to end the concert. Samuel Wesley’s large scale anthem ‘Ascribe unto the Lord’ is a lavishly tuneful piece that expresses the optimism and ambition of the Victorian age in the same way that Joséphine and her English husband John achieved with their museum. 

We also sing a slightly modified version of this programme as guests of The Friends of the Bowes Museum on 22 June: see our concert diary page for more information.

You are warmly invited to join us for seasonal refreshments after the concert

Tickets and Box office

Tickets £12, students and under 25s £10, children 13 and under free

Ticketsource telephone box office: 0333 666 3366
(Monday to Friday 9 am–7 pm and Saturday 9 am–5 pm)
If you book tickets online and print them yourself, there is no booking fee.  If you book tickets via the telephone box office or require online tickets to be sent by post, there is a fee of £1.50 per order.

Tickets will also be available shortly from choir members or from Durham Music Shop, High Street, Langley Moor.

To reserve tickets on the door, please email [email protected] or telephone 0779 0148062.

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