Monday, December 14, 2009


The Joyful Company of Singers

St Paul's Covent Garden


The Joyful Company's Plum Pudding is nicely matured by now – a secret recipe of music, readings and plenty of Christmas spirit.
If you're lucky you might find the original CD, with Gabriel Woolf [and Dame Felicity Lott].

Woolf revived many of these favourites in the lovely setting of the Actors' Church: the “plain and pastoral truths” of Vita Sackville West's festive season, U A Fanthorpe. I loved the way director Peter Broadbent wove music into the readings – Laurie Lee's Christmas in Seville, Deck the Halls for E V Lucas's wonderfully observed Christmas Decorations, and two Silent Nights: in German for the Christmas Truce and Englished for Leonard Clark looking back over a lifetime of Decembers to carol Singing in the Streets.
Plenty of musical discoveries, too [and no community singing !]. Ralph Vaughan Williams' arrangement of the Wassail Song, the première of a new piece by Malcolm Hayes, and a powerful start, Roderick Williams' O Adonai, beginning with seven sopranos, then the men's voices entering from the back of the church to truly impressive emotional effect.

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