Cecilia celebrate Festival of Britten
Local chamber choir The Cecilia Consort will sing their autumn concert – devoted exclusively, in this centenary of his birth, to works by contemporary British composer Benjamin Britten – tomorrow (Saturday 7.45pm) at St Nicolas’ Church, Newbury.
Musical Director Janet Coxwell is rehearsing the choir through a demanding programme of both well-known and some rarely heard works (such as ) by Britten, seen by many as the outstanding British composer of the twentieth century.
The Consort will be joined by soloists Patrick Craig, a Tallis Scholars colleague of Janet Coxwell’s and the choir’s deputy conductor, and Andrew Carwood, a former Tallis Scholar, whom Janet has persuaded to come out of his singing retirement to perform in the concert.
Together, they will perform Britten’s Canticle II, , based on the text of the biblical story as told in the
, a performance that Janet says is “by far the most moving I have ever heard – and something not to be missed”.
“I am really excited at the prospect of getting Patrick and Andrew together singing Britten with the Consort,” enthuses Janet. “I have sung often with them both and hold their talented musical ability in very high regard.”
Other works on the programme include the , , (based on the poem by the 18th-century poet Christopher Smart), and the Choral Dances from his opera.Janet will herself sing solo in(a setting of a poem by WH Auden) and (written for the 1949 wedding of Lord Harewood to Marion Stein)
The Consort are also delighted to welcome back well-known local musician Steve Bowey, who will provide both piano and organ accompaniment.