Following a two year lack of group singing due to pandemic restrictions, the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCS) is making a welcome return to live performance this summer with a four concert Scotland-wide tour that will include Duruflé’s Requiem.
The acclaimed 91 strong youth choir, who regularly bring joy to audiences up and down the country, will perform in venues that include three cathedrals and an abbey, from Stirling, Inverness, Paisley and, as part of the Festival Fringe from 19th-22nd August, in Edinburgh.
The concert opens with Rejoice in the Lamb, Benjamin Britten’s setting of Jubilate Agno, written by the eighteenth-century poet Christopher Smart while he was confined for mental illness. The text seeks to praise God through the wonders of nature and the beauty of animals and contains one of the most celebrated paeans of praise for the author’s cat, his only companion in his confinement.
Stories of love and companionship are a common thread throughout the programme, which also features Stacey Garrop’s Sonnets of Desire, Longing, and Whimsy, which sets work from American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to music. With sixteen sonnets arranged for a cappella choir, the piece explores three aspects of love: flirtation, unrequited passion, and the ache after a parting of ways.
The performance’s centrepiece – Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem – is one of the glories of choral repertoire and one of his few completed works surviving for posterity and was dedicated to the memory of the composer’s father.
The NYCS choir will be conducted by Artistic Director Christopher Bell who said “I am tremendously excited to be able to mark the return to live performances with Scotland’s award-winning National Youth Choir with a four-city tour of Scotland. The intensity of our performance of Duruflé’s Requiem will move and inspire our audiences. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Scotland’s finest young singers.”
Tickets for the tour are on sale now.