The annual Brandenburg Choral Festival has, over the last seven years, become an established feature of the London musical scene, attracting fine choirs from all over the South.
A huge variety of music is proffered, ranging from sacred to secular, classical to jazz, all taking place in some of the loveliest churches and other iconic venues throughout the Capital.
Angmering Chorale was proud to be invited once again, this time singing at the beautiful church of St James, situated appropriately enough in Sussex Gardens, Paddington. We were welcomed by charismatic overall Artistic Director Bob Porter, and in celebration of Sir Karl Jenkins’ 50 years in music and the Chorale’s own 40th in 2016, we chose to sing excerpts from our Patron’s latest work: “Motets” These were composed in 2014, the year of his 70th birthday.
This collection of 18 sacred unaccompanied songs is based on some of his finest works, including The Armed Man, Adiemus, Stabat Mater and the orchestral piece Palladio. A new work, Locus Iste (This Place), was added shortly before publication, and the whole set is dedicated to Karl’s son Jody.
Interspersed with the various groups of songs, genial conductor George Jones engaged the sizeable audience with recollections of the Chorale’s various other performances of Jenkins’ music, notably The Armed Man at Arundel Cathedral in the presence of the composer, premieres in New York and Bayeux Cathedral, Normandy. The latter took place as part of the emotional commemorations of the D Day Landings, involving four international choirs and a French Brass Band, all conducted by George.
After welcome refreshments, we resumed the Motets, culminating with Nunc Dimittis (Now let your servant depart in peace) To complete our programme, however, we turned to Jenkins’ equally popular British contemporary, John Rutter, for two of the five pieces from his up-lifting “Feel the Spirit” These were “Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho” and “When the Saints go Marching In” Both were given the jazzy, up-tempo treatment with stylish accompaniment from Alison Manton and alongside the ladies, some full-bodied singing from the gentlemen! The audience was invited to join the final refrain, with gusto!
So began and ended an eventful January day in London, exhausting but exhilarating, enjoyed by performers and audience alike.
Motets and Feel the Spirit will also be performed in Arundel Cathedral on Saturday March 12th at 7.30pm. Tickets @ £15 available on 01243 554501. More details on www.theangmeringchorale.org.uk.
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