Thursday 19 July 2012

Canticles and Psalms - St. Brides Olympic Festival

St Brides Fleet Street Olympic Festival
Next week, St. Bride's Church in Fleet Street is having a short, but rather imaginatively put together festival to celebrate the Olympics. On Monday 23 July at 7pm there will be performances of all five of Benjamin Britten's Canticles. Setting of poets as diverse as Francis Quarles, Edith, Sitwell, T.S. Elliot and the Chester Miracle Plays, they were written at various points in his career and do not strictly form a cycle. Instead they are almost a survey of his career. The second canticle, Abraham and Isaac was written for Peter Pears and Kathleen Ferrier; the fourth canticle, Journey of the Magi sets T.S. Elliot's poem of the same name for counter tenor, tenor and baritone; the fifth canticle was written in memory of the writer William Plomer (who wrote a number of Britten's librettos) and was premiered by Peter Pears and Ossian Ellis. This is a rare opportunity to hear the five canticles performed together. 

On Wednesday 25 July, soprano Claire Seaton who is much associated with St. Brides, is joined by friends and by the St. Brides Orchestra in a programme of favourites including Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate and music by Puccini, Delibes, Britten, Mascagni and Verdi.

At 8.12am on Friday 27 July the church will be taking part in All the BellsLater that there is a Psalm reading marathon. Robert Bryan will be giving a complete reading of the Psalms from 10.00am to with a break and a 30 minute organ recital at lunch time. If you can manage to sit for the length of time necessary, your chance to hear the beautiful language of the psalms all at once. The bells will be rung again at 20:12

Further information from the St. Brides website.

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