"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
MUSIC FOR A SUMMER'S EVENING
FOR A SUMMER'S EVENING
Singers at Chelmsford Cathedral
summer sunshine as we arrive at the Cathedral for a programme which
must be one of the most demanding the Singers have given, devoted in
the main to the work of Benjamin Britten in his centenary year.
climax was five of the Gerard Manley Hopkins settings which make up
AMDG, not performed until after the composer's death. Challenging
both vocally and intellectually, the poetry as dense and complex as
the score. The Singers, guided confidently through the work by James
Davy, gave an impressive account, culminating in the positive,
accessible, perhaps, was the opening work, the Choral Dances from
Gloriana, the peal of Time, the comfortable harmonies of Concord and
the gleeful Country Girls. And the Flower Songs, the last of which,
Green Broom, with the rhythmic pulse of the title passing from upper
to lower voices – fiendishly difficult, but great fun.
Agnus Dei from the War Requiem set the poetry of Wilfred Owen,
movingly sung by the young tenor Richard Robbins, against the Latin
Lamb of God from the choir. Robbins also gave us dramatic
performances of the first Canticle and the Cradle Song for Eleanor.
space for the singers was provided by organ tributes to Victoria and
Monteverdi by Britten and Tippett, whose Songs from the British
Isles, including a lively Lilliburlero, opened the second half.