The Music Makers
13th April 2019, 19:30, Ely Cathedral
Our next concert ‘The Music Makers’ will be on Saturday 13th April 2019 in Ely Cathedral at 7:30 pm. This spring concert juxtaposes three highly distinctive pieces: Poulenc’s Gloria, Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody and Elgar’s The Music Makers.
Poulenc’s Gloria is a captivatingly original setting for soprano solo, chorus and orchestra, in which the composer is adept at expressing the text in his music; sometimes it is poignant and lyrical, and at others, spiky and rhythmically vital. Forget Vivaldi’s setting of this text: this is imaginative, individual and infectious.
The Alto Rhapsody by Brahms is a rarely performed smaller-scale work, for alto solo, male-voice choir and orchestra on a text by Goethe. Here are the intensity and sonority always expected of Brahms, providing a contrast with the more symphonic outer works in this programme.
Elgar’s The Music Makers is the most famous setting of Arthur O’Shaughnessy’s poem, scored for mezzo-soprano solo, choir and orchestra. Listening to what must be one of the most popular of Elgar’s choral output, you can enjoy spotting the composer’s references to half a dozen of his best known works, including Enigma Variations and The Dream of Gerontius, as well as The Marseillaise!
To make this a night out to remember, Ely’s largest choir is joined by two fabulous soloists, Elenor Bowers-Jolley soprano and Stephanie Windsor-Lewis mezzo- soprano and is accompanied by a large orchestra, courtesy of the remarkable Medlock Players (led by Helen Medlock). The concert will be conducted by Andrew Parnell.
Tickets are available from Ely Cathedral Box Office https://tickets.elycathedral.org
An English Celebration
29th June 2019, 19:30, Wymondham Abbey
We join forces with Wymondham Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of English music:
Give unto the Lord Elgar
Clarinet Concerto Finzi
Fenland Images Parnell
Enigma Variations Elgar
Wymondham Symphony Orchestra and Ely Choral Society
Koren Wilmer clarinet
Conducted by Andrew Parnell
A Night at the Opera
13th July 2019, 19:30, Hayward Theatre, King’s Ely
The final concert of 2019 Isle of Ely Arts Festival
A sparkling evening of great music from the operatic stage – choruses, arias and ensembles by Bizet, Borodin, Mascagni, Mozart, Rossini and Verdi.
Rebecca Duckworth Soprano
Tara Bungard Soprano
Mark Hounsell Tenor
Maurice Hodges Piano
Ely Choral Society and Ely Youth Choir
Conducted by Andrew Parnell
Ely Choral Society carol concert in St Mary’s Church Ely on Saturday 8th December 2018.
“The packed church of St Mary’s in Ely was treated to a real taste of Christmas on Saturday. Ely Choral Society’s Concert: ‘The Joys of Christmas’ was one of their best. Under the expert directorship of Andrew Parnell, the choir’s strong, stirring, masterful voices rang out the Christmas message clearly and with great joy. The audience was a very willing partner in singing their carols: ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Sussex Carol’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Unto us is Born a Son’, and ‘O Come all ye Faithful’. The large choir sang a worthy set of songs in the programme and the highlights of these for me were: ‘Gaudete’, ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ and ‘The Infant King’. ‘Gaudete’, a wonderful, powerful opening to the concert, was sung with clarity, precision, varied contrasts and inspired fervour. This set the tone for this marvellous evening.
Ely Youth Choir acquitted themselves very well, their young voices clear and true. Of the songs it sang, the highlight for me was a charming performance of ‘Light of the World’ by J Dankworth. Some of the carols were unaccompanied which suited the high standard these fine choirs have now reached. Those that were accompanied were expertly supported by Edmund Aldhouse who will be taking over Paul Trepte’s role as Director of Music at Ely Cathedral next year. Needless to say, Edmund’s performance was impeccable, joyous and above all acutely sensitive to the singers.
The evening was well planned, with the first half including the delightfully approachable and attractive ‘Christmas Cantata’ by Geoffrey Bush. After mince pies and drinks during the interval, the second half of the programme contained highly entertaining readings on the Christmas theme in between choir and audience carols. This was indeed a splendid concert.”
Rosemary Westwell Ely Standard