"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Singers at Blackmore Priory Church
Music inspired by
the natural world made for a pleasing programme from the Stondon
Singers, conducted by Christopher Tinker.
from Haydn's Creation, linked by readings and including a robust
Heavens Are Telling and a precisely delivered Achieved is the
Glorious Work, provided a contrast with the pastel, pastoral tone of
many of these settings. As did the playful Ballad of Green Broom, the
last of Britten's Five Flower Songs.
Among the most
enjoyable offerings were Elgar's gentle Torrents in Summer, William
Hawley's evocative setting of Emily Dickinson's My River Runs to
Thee, and the closing number, Stanford's much-loved Blue Bird, with
Annabel Malton's pure soprano soaring above the nave.
This is a chamber
choir, and they excel in the delicate madrigals, like Wilbye's
miniature Flora Gave Me Fairest Flowers. But they also rose to the
challenge of the Haydn, Tinker's own Memento Mori, and Eric
Whitacre's unaccompanied Water Night, with its intense, richly
the Singers' accompanist, contributed a fine Bach Prelude and Fugue
on the venerable St Laurence organ.