Liz Lane new cantata The Story of St Alban will be performed at St Albans Cathedral on Saturday 23 November 2019 in a special concert marking the 75th anniversary of St Albans Choral Society.
The Story of St Alban is a 45-minute work commissioned by St Albans Choral Society in 2014, which received its premiere at the Weston Auditorium, Hatfield in 2015, to which the Dean of St Albans was invited. The work is for Narrator, Children’s choir (playing chirpy pagans), Baritone (Alban), Choir, Woodwind, Horn, Percussion, Harp and Strings.
When commissioned to write the piece by George Vass, St Albans Choral Society’s Music Director, Liz Lane and librettist Andy Rashleigh visited the Cathedral and spent time at the shrine of St Alban. The prayer at the side of the shrine caught their attention – Lane took a photo of the laminated copy – and The Alban Prayer became the last movement of the piece.
‘The subject matter, of course, is not always pretty, and I was grateful for the Prayer’s tonality to ground my harmonic language throughout, interspersing with the more dissonantly portrayed dramatic and dreadful aspects of the story.
When writing The Story of St Alban, I was surprised how few people I talked to knew of the tale behind his sainthood. I hope this work helps bring to light this important figure.’
This will be the first performance of The Story of St Alban in St Alban’s Cathedral itself. Looking forward to this performance at the actual Cathedral dedicated to St Alban, Liz Lane says:
‘It’s magical because it’s in the right place. I think it will be very special to have it performed in that atmosphere and those surroundings, with all the history of the Abbey.’
The concert will also feature the world premiere of The Martyrs’ Call, a cantata by Richard James Harvey, and John Rutter’s Gloria.
Liz Lane’s works are proudly published by Composers Edition, including the last movement of The Story of St Alban – The Alban Prayer – which is already available through our website.
Saturday 23 November 2019
St Alban and The Martyrs – Concert in the Cathedral
St Albans Choral Society, Orchestra Nova, conductor George Vass, and a choir of local schoolchildren
Programme features Liz Lane’s The Story of St Alban, also Richard James Harvey’s The Martyrs’ Call (World Premiere) and John Rutter Gloria