Unfortunately we can’t get together as a choir to sing and perform this brilliant programme of music and bring you the particular enjoyment of a live performance. But with the wonders of the internet, YouTube and above all some brilliant performers we can showcase these fantastic pieces of music!
This concert is all about rhythm, but we start gently! Ariel Ramirez set the Mass to the beat of South America and his Misa Criolla is a classic; here it is performed by the UCLA University Chorus, Chamber Singers & Guitar Ensemble, conducted by Rebecca Lord Joshua Guerrero, tenor; Ryan Thorn, baritone, with simple percussion accompaniment.
Next, a real oddity with no singing or music! Ernst Toch escaped Nazi Germany to live in the USA and his Geographical Fugue is the sole surviving “spoken” work of a series he composed. Here it is brilliantly performed and “conveyed” in just 2 ¼ minutes by Viva Vox though, strangely, missing the first few words – Trinidad! If you want to read the words and “sing” along then watch HERE where the Century Singers TAMU have kindly posted the “score” – have a go at any “part”!
Having got into the rhythm we have another oddity from the 1920’s, Constant Lambert’s Rio Grande. Set to a poem by Sacheverell Sitwell it has syncopation, jazz and the rumba! We were all looking forward to this – and hearing our fantastic soloist Jonathan Ellis stream out those rhythms on the piano – which the choir last sang over 20 years ago under our former conductor John Edwards – once sung, never forgotten. This is a rather grand performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, Christina Ortiz on the piano, mezzo Jean Timperley and The madrigal Singers under Andre Previn, but in this recording the piano is to the fore as it should be and everything is clear and bright.
Our Virtual Concert concludes with a work by Leonard Bernstein, his Chichester Psalms. This is not an easy work to learn and we had started rehearsing it before our last concert; however we had not progressed beyond “la, la” let alone singing it as written, in Hebrew! That is an excitement to come. In the meantime here is a lovely performance by Le Choeur et la Maîtrise de Radio France, directed by Sofi Jeannin.
We hope you enjoyed the “concert”. We will be back as soon as possible and currently are scheduled to perform Beethoven’s Mass in C at our Autumn concert on Tuesday, 10th November. We hope to see you then!