Saturday 14th December 2019, 7:00 pm, St Mary’s Church, Ely.
Our next concert in Ely will be ‘Christmas Celebrations’ with carols for choir and audience and will celebrate major anniversaries of Hector Berlioz, Walford Davies and Sir David Willcocks.
Tickets available from 1st November 2019 online or at Ely Tourist Information Centre, Oliver Cromwell’s House, 29 St. Mary’s Street, Ely, Tel: 01353 66206
For most people, Christmas is a time for celebrating, but celebrating what? The birth of Jesus? Family? Giving and receiving? All the above, no doubt, and much more.
This year Ely Choral Society is also celebrating the contributions made to Christmas music by three particular composers:
- Hector Berlioz whose The Childhood of Christ gave us the sublime chorus The Shepherds’ Farewell. Berlioz died 150 years ago in 1869.
- Henry Walford Davies, an English composer, born in 1869, and Master of the King’s Music from 1934 to 1941. We include his setting of O Little Town of Bethlehem.
- Sir David Willcocks, born in 1919, was a famous choir director, notably at King’s College, Cambridge from 1957 to 1974. He was a prolific arranger of carols, many of which were performed at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast worldwide from the College Chapel every Christmas Eve. Several of his beautiful and clever carol-arrangements are in the programme.
Yes, there will be attractive and engaging pieces sung by the choirs, but also lots of carols for the audience to join in. Together with seasonal refreshments in the interval, there will be plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas with us.
Tickets £15, u18s free (including seasonal refreshments and programme)
Available from 1st November 2019 online
or at Ely Tourist Information Centre, Oliver Cromwell’s House, 29 St. Mary’s Street, Ely, Tel: 01353 66206
Review of Ely Choral Society’s concert on Saturday 19th October 2019 in Ely Cathedral
Ely Choral Society, under the directorship of Andrew Parnell, produced wonderful sounds on Saturday night in Ely Cathedral. There were great moments of beautiful sonority and cohesion. Word pictures were particularly impressive and contrasts were clearly and meaningfully exploited.
The soloists were Rebecca Duckworth (soprano) and Jonathan Midgley (baritone) and the organist was Glen Dempsey. They were highly commendable with the organist managing the instrument magnificently making it far more expressive than I thought possible. Rebecca’s delightful tone, clarity and expertise enhanced the concert wonderfully. The baritone, Jonathan Midgley, brought his solos alive with his attention to expression.
The balanced programme included works by Haydn, Fauré, and Mozart. The opening ‘Insanæ et vanæ curæ‘ by Haydn captured the audience’s attention immediately with its powerful and dramatic impact. This was contrasted by the lovely performance of the peaceful and calm ‘Pavane‘ by Fauré. Then Glen Dempsey performed ‘Fantasia in F minor‘ by Mozart, playing the most rapid of notes with absolute clarity as assurance. A fine performance of Haydn’s ‘Missa Brevis S. Joannis de Deo‘ (Hob XX11) by Ely Choral Society and the organist lead us to the interval.
The highlight of the evening for me was Fauré’s Requiem that formed the second half of the programme. These first-rate performers captured every sumptuous effect in Fauré’s score making the music exquisite, emotive, dark, mysterious or dramatic as the score dictated.
The was indeed a wonderful concert. The next event by Ely Choral Society will be their ‘Christmas Celebrations‘ with family Carols on Saturday 14th December at St Mary’s Church at 7pm.
For more information about Ely Choral Society contact: www