2009 - A Cappella Evening

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South Wilts Grammar School A Cappella Choir and Chamber Orchestra, St Martin's Church

Saturday 24 January 2009

The beautiful church of St Martin's was packed for this enjoyably varied concert of music spanning five centuries. The programme started in the 1500s with the rich harmonies of Hassler's unaccompanied motet, 'Verbum caro factum est', in an intense performance by the A Cappella choir. The Chamber Orchestra, under Richard Parsons' rigorous and enthusiastic direction, then brought us well into the 20th century with a setting of 'Somewhere' from West Side Story and an energetic performance of the Jig from Holst's St Paul's Suite. New, I think, to almost everyone in the audience was the choral piece that followed: 'Lux Aeterna' by Danish/American composer Morten Laurisden. He himself describes it as 'an intimate work of quiet serenity centred around a universal symbol of hope, reassurance, goodness and illumination'. The choir and full orchestra took our breath away with their lovely sound filling the fine acoustics of the church.

The programme ended in the 18th century with a sparkling and incisive performance of Bach's 'Magnificat'. The voices of South Wilts students Tamsin Cave, Mary Price, Charlotte Liddington and Frances Copp sang out sweetly and truly and were nicely balanced by very accomplished performances from Iain Milne and Robert Evans in their tenor and bass solos. A striking feature of this concert was the presence of many other accomplished, adult musicians - players and singers - giving so generously of their time and talent. It is a tribute to A Cappella director, Libby Poppleton that they all do this so willingly.

 

Liz Phelps



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