seriously enjoyable summer concert took its title from a sequence by
Edinburgh composer Tom Cunningham to verses by Alexander McCall
Smith. Philosophical musings on Ghirlandaio and Bruegel surrounded
whimsical Waldteufelry for the one Scots painting, Raeburn's Skating
ever, the evening was carefully curated round this theme, with work
by the Writtle Art Group on display in the church. So we heard
depictions of birds, dogs and flowers – Britten's Five Flower
Songs, and Flora from an earlier East Anglian composer, John Wilbye.
featured too: Debussy En Bateau, and, to conclude, Cecilia McDowall's
intriguing Shipping Forecast, preceded by, what else, Binge's
soothing Sailing By.
versatile chamber choir relished the challenge of barking like
Cerberus, babbling for Babel, and putting on speed to navigate the
coastal waters off Newfoundland. The voices blended superbly in
favourites like The Silver Swan and The Blue Bird, and, especially in
the Cunningham, their enunciation enabled us to enjoy the poetry as
well as the music.
choir's director, Christine Gwynn, joined accompanist Caroline Finlay
at the piano for a couple of Bizet children's games, and for a few of
Francaix's interpretations of Renoir portraits of children, angelic,
impressionistic little girls, but also a readily recognizable painful