Sunday, November 10, 2013


Writtle Singers at the Parish Church

The Writtle Singers celebrated Britten's 100th – and the feast of St Cecilia – with a concert which paired him up with Henry Purcell, his great predecessor and artistic influence. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts, written for the funeral of Queen Mary, made an atmospheric opening to the second half, sung unaccompanied behind the audience at the west end of the darkened church.
A Jubilate from each man – Britten's with an intricate organ part [Laurence Lyndon-Jones], Purcell's with some excellent solos from within the choir, including Gavin Oddy's authentic alto.
And two Britten Hymns – the Hymn to St Cecilia, words by W H Auden: “appear and inspire”, and the Hymn to the Virgin, the choir divided east and west.
Sharing the continuo with Lyndon-Jones was cellist Alastair Morgan, who also gave, from memory, a stylish performance of Britten's first cello suite; not easy listening, and a huge technical and interpretative challenge for the performer. Morgan brought out the colourful heart of the music, especially in the dreamy Lento and the dramatic Serenata.
This satisfying programme, sung with confident conviction under Christine Gwynn, concluded with the Choral Dances from Gloriana, an opera written sixty years ago for the Coronation.

No comments:

Post a Comment