Concerts and Reviews
Saturday 4th April 2020, 7:30 pm, Ely Cathedral.
Coronavirus pandemic: We regret to inform you that Ely Choral Society has postponed its activities for the remainder of this season on account of the coronavirus outbreak.
Our next concert ‘African Sanctus’ was to have been performed on Saturday 4th April 2020 at 7:30 pm in Ely Cathedral. We hope to be able to perform this work at some time in the future.
African Sanctus is a wonderful setting of the Latin Mass harmonised with traditional African music collected by the legendary composer David Fanshawe on his many journeys up the River Nile. He wanted to create a work that would praise God by combining traditional African music with western music of his own composition.
The ‘pop’ rhythms and electric instruments add an extra layer above the recorded tribal music. The programme is completed by performances by the percussion quartet and a group of African songs sung by Ely Youth Choir.
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.
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