|Peter Leech and Harmonia Sacra|
The concert included music by a group of 18th century Italian composers, both well known and lesser known, Alessandro Scarlatti, Tommaso Bai, Giovanni Battista Costanzi, Giovanni Giorgi, and Antonio Bicci which echoed the theme of the choir's recent CD Princely Splendour: Choral works from 18th century Rome. From a non-musical point of view Costanzi is interesting because one of his patrons was Prince Henry Benedict, Cardinal York, who was Bonnie Prince Charlie's younger brother and the last direct Stuart claimant to the English throne. All the motets were fascinating works which certainly deserved the choir attention which the choir gave them, in a series of brilliant, bright-toned performances which were both technically strong and wonderfully involving.
They complemented the earlier items with more recent music, giving fine a fine account of three of my Advent motets from Tempus per Annum, Populus Sion, Ad te levavi and Rorate Coeli. Lovely to hear them again, especially performed by such a fine ensemble and it was fascinating to re-discover the music sung by a choir of 30 voices. Peter Leech's own Do not stand beside my grave and weep set a text attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye and was dedicated to Christopher Manners memory.
|All Saints Church, Weston super Mare|
All Saints Church is a lovely early 20th century Gothic building. Designed by George Bodley it opened in 1902 and was one of his final buildings; the church was not completed until 1925 when Bodley's pupil F.C. Eden finished it by adding a Lady Chapel (though the bell tower was never built).
Elsewhere on this blog:
- Coptic epic: Peeter Vahi's Maria Magdalene - CD review
- Two for the price of one: Luis Gomes and Giordano Luca - Rosenblatt Recital
- Drama and Passion: Rosalind Plowright recital disc - CD review
- First opera triumph: Julian Anderson's Thebans at ENO - Opera review
- Not just Witches and Bitches: An encounter with Rosalind Plowright - interview
- And The Snowman came too: Vladimir Ashkenazy plays Howard Blake - CD review
- Undeservedly neglected: Poulenc Sept Repons de Tenebres and Stabat Mater - CD Review
- Arias for Farinelli: Ann Hallenberg, Les Talens Lyriques, Christophe Rousset - concert review
- London International A Cappella Competition: The Final
- Singing the Oceans Alive
- London International A Cappella Competition: Round 2
- Melvyn Tan and friends at the Yehudi Menuhin School
- On cracking form: Handel's Tamerlano - CD review
- Handel's Israel in Egypt at King's College, Cambridge - concert review
- Spare daring: What Becomes by Thomas Larcher - CD review