"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Great Baddow Proms 2011 at St Margaret's Church
There aren't many bards about these days, to sing the praises and chart the story of their own neck of the woods.
So it was great to have this year's Baddow Proms devoted in large part to Eric Withams' new cantata, Baddow Magna, a setting of Chris Wright's words, chronicling the history of this village turned suburb. Performed in the parish church by a huge choir of villagers and school-children, accompanied by the Magna Band, illustrated by historical photographs, it was fascinating and enormous fun.
The sound of the Revolting Peasants, trudging back home in defeat, the jolly-bank-holiday music for Galleywood Races, the Waltonian chords, sirens and split choirs of evacuees in the World War II sequence, the dramatic flood of 1958, all were effective evocations of times past. There were local characters too, Bertha Sandford from the shop, Porky Amos from the school, and the tragic Molly Ram [her ballad sung by Jane White], whose murder is memorialised in Molrams Lane.
The work ended with an upbeat finale - “Long may its spirit last ...”
The first half of the concert featured local musicians in works from Vivaldi to YMCA, folk, opera and Andrew Lloyd Webber.