Our first concert of 2014 was our now traditional Carols for Candlemas. This took place on Saturday 8th February at a new venue, St Michael's Church, Partridge Green where we had a wonderfully warm welcome from Fr William and his congregation. The programme was a mixture of medieval carols, renaissance polyphony and music from the 20th century. The firm favourite of the audience was Britten's In the bleak midwinter, so much for him not being liked! It was very atmospheric and we did sing it very well. The church was lit by many candles as befits Candlemas, and we thought we might need them when there was a power cut shortly before the concert. Luckily the electricity was restored in time and we were able to perform our main piece which needed the piano (digital) - George Dyson's A Christmas Garland. This turned out to be a brilliant piece and we all had the music going round our heads for ages after the concert. 2014 is the 50th year since he died, so we should hear more of his music this year and rightly so. Have a look at our programme page for more on this Candlemas concert.
After our very successful Carols for Candlemas concert, we returned to Cranleigh for our May concert A GARLAND OF SONGS where we celebrated Cranleigh in Bloom with a floral themed programme.
The music included English madrigals by Morley, Wilbye and Weelkes, the very evocative Two Eastern Pictures by Holst, some Edwardian partsongs by Stanford, Bridge and German and a fine set of pieces entitled The Seasons by Alec Rowley. We included a couple of duets, one by Handel and, as no programme about flowers can possibly leave it out, the Flower Duet from Lakmé by Delibes.
The concert took place in St Nicolas Church on Saturday May 17th.
Our third concert was on Saturday 11th October at 7.30 pm in St John’s Church, Broadbridge Heath where we enjoyed the lovely acoustic and good facilities. For the audience there were comfortable chairs in which to enjoy our beautiful singing, plus refreshments after the concert!
The programme, Hymns to the Virgin, celebrated the wealth of wonderful music written in honour of the Virgin Mary, spanning ten centuries. It was really difficult to whittle down the possible pieces to a programmable length as there is so much lovely music to choose from. Most of the pieces were originally written for high voices and we included works by well known composers, Verdi and Holst, as well as less familiar ones such as Dufay and Charpentier, the latter being a particular favourite of mine. It is not often that you will hear Verdi and Dufay in the same concert!
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend we sang the services in Chichester Cathedral. Music list below. As you can see, we were quite busy!
Sat 23 Aug
Canticles: Marshall in C
Anthem: Mendelssohn - Laudate Pueri
Sun 24 Aug
Anthem: Morales - In die tribulationis
Hurd - Missa Brevis (no Kyrie)
Communion motet: Mozart - Ave verum corpus
Canticles: Mag - de Rore; Nunc - plainchant
Anthem: Costantini - Confitemini Domino
Cantilena’s concert in Cranleigh, Carols for Candlemas, which celebrated the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth with his much loved Ceremony of Carols, was a great success. Performing to a numerous and very appreciative audience the singers thoroughly enjoyed the programme and that was very much in evidence in the quality of the performance. Harpist Heather Wrighton was wonderful - we won't want to do the Britten with piano again! - and she made the Rutter Dancing Day really come alive. The unaccompanied pieces, themselves varied (plainsong sung in almost darkness in procession with candles, a work by Palestrina, a little performed piece by Britten plus a carol written for the lucky girls of Putney High School by David Hansell), contrasted well with the two main works with harp. The concert was on 9th February 2013 at 7.30 pm and we performed in the comfortable, warm and welcoming venue and excellent acoustics of Cranleigh Baptist Church.
Our next concert was on Saturday 25th May 2013 in Holy Trinity Church, Rudgwick, RH12 3EB. Entitled Courtship and Love, the music consisted of madrigals and songs from medieval to modern times, and included Eric Whitacre's beautiful Five Hebrew Love Songs and a jolly romp by Vaughan Williams about Falstaff called In Windsor Forest. The talented Cantilena ladies include six string players who played Elgar's Salut d'amour in an arrangement by one of them and various other instruments were featured in the medieval pieces. Something for everyone as was proved by post-concert comments in which everyone had a different favourite piece. The Whitacre was probably the work which moved people the most but the medieval music was much appreciated as it was unfamiliar to many.
Cantilena continued their celebration of Benjamin Britten’s Centenary with works by 20th century composers writing in the English Cathedral tradition, including Britten himself, in their final concert of 2013 on Saturday 12th October in St Nicolas Church, Cranleigh.
These were the works performed:
Benjamin Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb and Missa Brevis
Wayne Marshall: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis
Michael Hurd: Missa Brevis
John Sanders: Te Deum
Malcolm Singer: Psalm 100
With Philip Scriven (organ) also contributing a solo piece: Simon Preston's 'Alleluyas'.
Unfamiliar pieces for a lot of the audience but all thoroughly enjoyed, especially the Malcolm Singer which always goes down well!