Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

January 2009

This months News



And they danced in the aisle

Stour Singers, Shipston’s Choral Society, shared a feast of Music for Advent with a capacity audience in St. Edmund’s Church on Saturday 6 December 2008.  This well-balanced choir directed by Richard Emms set the tone for the evening with the 17th century ‘fanfare’ carol Omnis mundis jocundetur of Michael Praetorius, accompanied by the strings of the Cherwell orchestra with Rachel Bird at the piano.  There was the spritely Charpentier Salve puerule’ with dancing orchestral interludes between verses and, unaccompanied, Richard Rodney Bennett’s haunting setting of Robert Herrick’s poem ‘What sweeter music can we bring but a carol’.  This piece was jinxed by a false smoke alarm which interrupted the music but gave an opportunity for a worthwhile repeat performance.  The audience were in good voice for the more familiar carols holding their line well against the choir’s 4-part variation in See amid the winter’s snow.

The main works, a homage to Vaughan Williams in the 50th anniversary of his death, were his Five Mystical Songs and Fantasia on Christmas Carols in which the soloist, the Australian baritone Simon Thorpe, gave a powerful yet sympathetic interpretation which galvanized the choir to a truly memorable performance.  He also contributed solos from Handel’s Messiah and joined the choir in Harold Darke’s lovely setting of ‘In the bleak midwinter’ and ‘Peter Cornelius’ The Three Kings’.  The whole assembly took part in an enactment of ‘Good King Wenceslas’, Simon Thorpe donning a crown (courtesy of Henry IV & the RST) and, summoning his Page, Millie Gardner of Burmington in feathered cap, they danced in the aisle.  The evening had bags of atmosphere; a joyful anticipation of Christmas.

The next concert, Haydn’s The Creation on Saturday 9 May 2009 is also in St Edmund’s, Shipston.

Rehearsals start on Thursday 15 January at 7.30pm in Shipston Primary School.  New members welcome – no auditions.  Please contact Vic Twyman (tel 01608 664215) or www.stoursingers.org.uk.

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Last modified: December 28, 2008