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Hastings Philharmonic Choir will be accompanied by Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of sacred music by Puccini and Verdi (photo: Peter Mould).

HPC sings sacred music by Puccini and Verdi

Puccini and Verdi are Italy’s giants of opera. But for its summer concert Hastings Philharmonic Choir will perform lesser known sacred works by the two composers, as press officer Gareth Simpson explains.

For its summer concert on 13 July the Hastings Philharmonic Choir will perform two masterpieces, Puccini’s glorious Messa di Gloria and Verdi’s contemporaneous Quattro Pezzi Sacri (Four Sacred Pieces), accompanied by the Hastings Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert will be conducted by HPC’s highly respected musical director Marcio da Silva, with leading soloist Anthony Flaum (tenor) and Marcio himself (baritone).

Both composers are better known for their operatic works than these religious pieces, and there is an operatic quality to both works: the lyrical quality of the Puccini, with its long-breathed melodic lines, and the dramatic nature of the Verdi, with its contrasts of hushed, reflective music with vivid outbursts reminiscent of his Requiem.

This is the centenary year of Puccini’s death; the Messa di Gloria was written as his graduation exercise in 1880, before he became the renowned operatic composer of his generation. In contrast Verdi’s Quattro Pezzi Sacri dates from late in his life, when he returned reflectively to his roots as a church musician.

Messa di Gloria had its first performance in 1880 but Puccini never published the full manuscript, and it was not performed again until 1952 in Chicago, and then Naples. Verdi composed each of the pieces of Quattro Pezzi Sacri separately over a period of 10 years. They were then published together in 1898, just  a few years before his death in 1901.


Sacred music by Puccini and Verdi Hastings Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. Christ Church, Silchester Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6GL, Saturday 13 July, 7pm. Tickets via HPC’s website or from The Bookkeeper, 1A Kings Road, St Leonards-on-Sea TN37 6EA, priced at £22/£17.50/£13.  Students, under 18s, JSA and Universal Credit claimants £5/free.

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Posted 20:46 Saturday, Jun 29, 2024 In: Music & Sound

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