“Sumer is icumen in” and we are ready to dance. Welcome to our joyous programme of waltzes, jigs and dumkas - we hope that it will bring you to the edge of your seat with your feet tapping! It is a pleasure to be back in the wonderful space of St. Gabriel’s and to be joined by the talents of our pianists Julia Kennard and Oona Prendiville. Tonight’s repertoire is mainly drawn from the latter half of the 19th Century, a time when dancing formed one of the main regular social interactions. In his Liebeslieder Waltzes, Brahms explores the many varied natures of love: desire, envy and lust all make an appearance. Interspersed with some of Dvo?ák’s picturesque Slavonic Dances, these form the first half of the concert. Then in the second half, we take a more light-hearted approach to love with a setting of Edward Lear’s nonsense poem of the Owl and the Pussycat followed by two jazz standards. Our concert closes with Edward Elgar’s From the Bavarian Highlands, a musical picture postcard of a holiday the Elgars spent in the Bavarian Alps.
Dresden Fashions: Italianate Fashions at the Ducal Court
Sat, 7 Mar 2020
Report from Simon Lee: Having performed the concert at St. Ann’s on St. Cecilia’s Day, we began preparing a programme of music all written in Dresden. Some of it was well known; the Crucifixus section of Lotti’s Credo is known to many – however much of it (including the rest of the Credo) was not. For this concert, we were joined by a small ensemble of professional instrumentalists led by the very talented Sophie Appleton and a quartet of talented young soloists. I feel that it is imperative that ensembles such as Cappella continue to support young soloists at the start of their careers and this will affect my planning of repertoire in future seasons. It is also very rewarding for the singers to enjoy the richness of the sound which instrumentalists add to a choral texture.
Report from Simon Lee: There is no doubt that the choir found the Jackson challenging, but its effect on the audience at St. Ann’s was total and awesome. Whilst some audience members declared that it was, ‘not their sort of music,’ every person present who I spoke to found it very interesting, moving and emotionally engaging. The piece was enhanced (as ever) by the cello playing of Deborah Thorne who added to the pilgrimage theme of the programme with three unaccompanied solos in addition to playing the obligato cello part in the Jackson. We were also joined by two professional percussionists playing a multitude of bells – the sound world which was created was fabulous! Cappella has prided itself on being able to tackle a wide range of repertoire over the years, and I hope that this ability to present both brand new contemporary music alongside longstanding staples of the choral canon will continue to be a defining feature of the choir.