Friday, 27 November 2009

'Bethlehem Down'

Having played our CD more than once now I consider that we can rightfully be proud of a fine quality product. Thanks to all involved but particularly to the part played by the sound engineers from Whipps Cross Hospital Radio - a superb job.
What we need to do now is to sell it to our friends, relatives and colleagues and to emphasise that many of the tracks can be heard live at our concert on Sat 12th at St. Paul's, Goodmayes.
Our CD has been sent to Classic FM radio and may well feature in their 'Full Works' programmes over the Christmas period - so watch out for more news.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Messiah at the Coliseum

I've just returned from the Dress rehearsal of English National Opera's staged Messiah at the London Coliseum, and can't really recommend it enough. If you are looking for a performance this is the one to choose I feel.
It's a staged performance, which means that there are actors, dancers and children as well as a 'community ensemble', and the chorus move around, but it is all very restrained and sympathetic to Jennen's libretto and Handel's music. The production, by Deborah Warner, enhances the narrative so that it seems to make more than usual sense. There is one gem of a scene in part one where a typical primary school nativity play is acted out in front of parents (the chorus) whilst a boy treble sings the 'There were shepherds abiding in the fields....' sequence. The crucifixion story in part two is most movingly portrayed
The music is directed by Laurence Cummings from the harpsicord and is fully up to the standards of the ENO. The solo quartet are of a high standard (not many Messiah soloists are expected to move and act whilst singing) and the chorus are superb, singing with tremendous clarity and expression.
For a different and meaningful take on Messiah, this is the one to watch.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thames Link

Our concert this Saturday has the making of being something special so please encourage as many of your friends and relatives to come along and hear two relatively unknown works :-

Bob Chilcott's 'Songs and Cries of London Town' and
Vaughan Williams 'In Windsor Forest'

Mahler Symphony No 2 in C minor 'Resurrection'

As the Valentine Singers have the opportunity to take part in a performance of the this work next May, you may be interested to know that there is a performance in the Barbican at 3pm on Sunday 13th December, with
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam

Mariss Jansons conductor
London Symphony Chorus

Unfortunately that is the day of the Writtle Singers Christmas concerts, to which we shall all, no doubt, be going.

For further details see