Font Size




Menu Style

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Moving on

CBBC's Messiah with Maggie Faultless's stylish baroque players and top flight soloists was a thrilling evening; the choir was on outstanding form – several choruses sung from memory – and the packed Abbey audience showed its appreciation with a standing ovation!

It was the first time that CBBC had performed the whole work, without any cuts, since 1951, and we took the opportunity to use it as the backdrop for a short film about the choir – a sort of 'calling card', if you like. I'm thrilled with the end result and you can find it here.

The highlight of EFC's concert in Exeter Cathedral was undoubtedly the very beautiful and skilful unaccompanied singing in Rossini's setting of the Stabat Mater – the choir really came up trumps here, and also showed its virtuosity in Swayne's tricky Magnificat. None of us had performed Szymanovski's Stabat Mater before but although the choir found the unfamiliar harmonic sound world quite hard to assimilate in rehearsal, the performance was very moving and I very much hope to have the opportunity to perform it again.

Bath Camerata's 27th consecutive Good Friday concert in Wells Cathedral was very well attended – well over 500 enthusiastic music lovers. Faure's Requiem may have been largely responsible for the large turn-out, but for many there, the 'world premiere' performance of James MacMillan's Choral Sequence for Passiontide was an unexpected treat. Commissioned by James MacMillan himself, I extracted five almost a cappella sections from his seminal work, the St John Passion, which I conducted last year, and adapted them for choir and organ. MacMillan's inspirational music, with Latin texts, makes a most moving and appropriate contribution to the passiontide repertoire.

So, moving on - I'm looking forward to CBBC's A Night at the Opera – complete with champagne and ballgowns; to giving my delightful Wells Cathedral School Chamber Choir some concert outings; to taking Bath Camerata to sing at Chatsworth at the invitation of the Derbyshire Singers on its 40th anniversary – the green meadows there are currently alive with young lambs; to performing Copland's In the Beginning with EFC at Crediton, with the glorious mezzo-soprano Beth Mackay, who recorded it for the Delphian label; and to spending a summer week singing beautiful music in Krakow. I hope to see you along the way!