at Old St Martin’s Church in the Cornmarket
Sunday Oct 31st at 1.30pm in St Martin’s in the Cornmarket
Conductor Piers Maxim
On a typical autumnal day at the end of October, the Chorale sang a set of songs (see below) as a part of the 2021 (greatly delayed from 2020!) Elgar Festival. A audience of over 50 heard a performance of live music in a lovely city centre Church.
The opening piece, ‘The dark eyed sailor’, is a swashbuckling tale of two lovers. Separated by time and distance, the sailor, home from the sea, meets his girl and they reunite in marriage. Like bookends, the final piece was a reprise of ‘Shout oh ye winds’ from the Chorale’s Three Choirs Festival. It is about a lady leaving the Malverns, moving around the English countryside, the south west, Yorkshire, East Anglia and more, but ending up with her first love, the Malvern Hills. This was commissioned by The Friends of The Elgar Chorale and is a poem by Dorothy Thoday, set to music by Roderick Williams.
From beginning to end, the Chorale were in good voice. The programme ranged from rip-roaring, full voice in Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s ‘The Viking Song’, managing to “clang, clang the anvil, with Thor’s hammer, to Donald Hunt’s beautiful ‘Now Sleeps the Crimson petal’, “be lost in me” from a poem by Tennyson. Throughout, the Chorale were both confident and sang with the emotion we are coming to expect form this choir, ably directed by their Director Music, Piers Maxim.
This was a concert, with a well chosen and balanced programme showing the Chorale at its best.
The full programme was –
Three English Folk Songs Vaughan Williams The dark eyed sailor The spring time of the year Just as the tide was flowing
Two Part Songs Donald Hunt A Good-Night Now the crimson petal
The Lee Shore Coleridge-Taylor The Viking Song
Two Part Songs Elgar As torrents in Summer How calmly the evening
Valiant-for-truth Vaughan Williams Shout, o ye winds! Roderick Williams