East Cornwall Bach Choir (ECBC)
An Evening of English Song
Saturday June 9
St Germans Priory Church at 7.30pm
An Evening of English Song, performed in the beautiful church of St Germans Priory (once the cathedral of Cornwall), promises to be a gem of a concert, perfect for an early summer evening’s entertainment.
The choir, directed of Chris Howarth, will be joined by internationally-acclaimed Bass/Baritone Stephen Varcoe, who has been the choir’s Honorary President for many years. On this occasion Stephen will be singing a selection of ten songs, chosen by him to complement and enrich the choir’s programme which forms the backbone of the evening.
The choir is very happy to have as his accompanist their good friend Jonathan Delbridge, following his brilliant contributions (on organ as well as piano) to the choir’s Celebrating Bach concert back in March.
The concert will include an exceptional range of English song, starting with probably the earliest surviving choral pieces (Sumer is icumen in and The Agincourt Song).
These are followed by two charming 17th madrigals, and an Elegy for a Tragic Heroine (1846) by Pearsall.
The programme’s main focus, however, is the 20th century, with music by Parry, Elgar, Percy Grainger, and, leading the field, Ralph Vaughan Williams (folk-song arrangements from 1913) and Gerald Finzi (songs on poems of Robert Bridges, written in the 1930s).
One very special item, near the end, will be a performance of a piece first given at ECBC’s 50th Anniversary Concert in June 2016, The Old Oak Queen. The text for this work was selected from poems submitted by local poets. The winning text, by Mac Dunlop, was offered to composers, to be set for voices and piano – the winner was Iain Rayner.
The choir is looking forward to giving this atmospheric and heartfelt piece its second public airing in the venue where it was first performed. A piece by Purcell in Praise of Music (1692) forms a neat tail-piece to the whole evening.
Tickets (Adults £14, Students £7, Children 12 & under free) are available from the Tourist Information Centre Liskeard (01579 349148) / online at www.ecbc.co.uk / from choir-members / at the door.
Philip R Buttall
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