Sits and Stands

Choral Musings – The Art of Sits and Stands

Sitting on command!

We were meant to remain on our feet during the tenor aria and wait for the next chorus. We stood quietly and dutifully held our folders at the right angle – a picture of choral professionalism. Our musical director was dealing with a lot of stuff – the orchestra, choir, soloists, tricky acoustics and the score. Maybe there was a sit we had failed to record or maybe he just thought we were looking a bit tired. Anyway, he gave a clear downward wave. There was a split-second of indecision before we all obeyed. The aria was beautiful but short and there was a growing sense of tension among the singers. This was clear from the tightening of shoulders and stiffening of jaws. Where were we going to stand? Then, at exactly the right moment, the choir rose to their feet to perform the chorus. We had made a silent but collective decision and I have never felt prouder.

There is an art involved in getting your choir to sit down and stand up again at the right time during a performance. It seems such an easy thing to the layperson but it is a complex process. Good conductors plan out appropriate sits and stands and ensure that all singers have marked them in. There are times, however, when performers drift off into the beauty of the music and lose their place in the score. When this happens their neighbours need to be alert and ready to pull them up or drag them down at the correct point. It is wise to be courteous about this though. There is nothing worse than seeing a fist-fight breaking out amongst the sopranos during a performance.

Looking professional

A first-class choir demonstrates their choral chops if they master the discipline of good sits and stands. The audience feels confident that here is a choir that knows what they are doing. Messy sits and stands are horrible to watch. If someone gets it wrong it is immediately obvious and can be hilarious. Standing up on your own is worse than sitting but both are bad. There is no way to carry it off with panache as everything you do will attract attention. Giggling, mouthing ‘Sorry!’ at the conductor or slapping a hand to your forehead will all make it worse. It is best to sink slowly back onto your seat with a blank expression.

Sits and stands are fraught with risk and you have to learn how to deal with them. We have experienced staging that swayed from side to side if anyone moved a muscle. We were singing the Sea Symphony and the motion sickness did not add to the performance. The sits and stands in that performance were executed very carefully. Some staging creaks and bangs when you step on it. This means the entrance of the choir is accompanied by pistol shots and cannon fire. On this kind of staging you have to be careful not to move during the performance in case you spoil the quiet bits. And, if you don’t have the luxury of chairs you can experience the very painful ‘bottom pinch’ from where boards join. There is nothing worse than hearing singers, spaced at regular intervals, cry out when sitting down.

Involuntary descents

There are times when a sit in the wrong place is involuntary. Fainting is relatively uncommon but you need to know how to deal with it. It can be hot up there under the lights, and some of us have experienced the sudden drop of an adjacent singer. The first thing to check is that the person has just fainted and it isn’t more serious. The second thing to take into account is that the show must go on. You could administer first aid with your feet as you keep powering on through Carmina Burana but it is tricky. I’ve seen singers tucked up in the recovery position under the seats waiting to be rescued in the interval. It seems harsh but there is nothing more embarrassing than being stretchered off the stage in the middle of a performance.

To sum up, then, sits and stands are important to any choral performance. Choirs that raise and lower themselves quietly as a single entity look great. Getting it wrong can spoil a performance for the audience, no matter how beautifully you sing. Getting it right demonstrates your professionalism and sets the scene for a glorious experience.

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Four workshops with Hertfordshire Chorus

When will the workshops be?

All workshops are on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 – 10pm at our regular rehearsal venue, Stanborough School, Lemsford Rd, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6YR

Workshops cost £5 which includes music hire and tea and a chance to sample our excellent cakes!

Tickets are available here

Download a flyer by clicking on the picture below.

23rd October

Elgar – The Music Makers
This beautiful work is based on a poem ‘Ode’ by Arthur O’Shaughnessy and celebrates the importance of art to society.

30th October

Haydn – Harmoniemesse
Haydn’s last major work combines wind instruments with choral voices in this glorious ‘High Mass’. It is a vast work that is a joy to sing.

6th November

Karl Jenkins – The Armed Man
Jenkins composed this work as‘A Mass for Peace’ a commission for the Millennium celebrations and it is dedicated to the victims of the
Kosovo crisis.

13th November

Handel – Samson
Completed in London in 1742 this oratorio is considered one of Handel’s finest dramatic works. The choruses provide much of the rich character of the piece

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Porgy and Bess in Poland

Off to Poland to Sing Porgy and Bess in September!

Wayne Marshall – photograph by Charles Best

The concert

Hertfordshire Chorus has been asked to perform George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in Wroclaw, Poland later this year.  The choir will be joining leading conductor and renowned American specialist Wayne Marshall, the NFM Wrocław Philharmonic and top-quality soloists Indira Mahajan, Angela Renée Simpson, Ronald Samm and Kevin Short in the International FestivalWratislavia Cantans on Sunday 15thSeptember.  The concert forms part of a year-long national project to commemorate the centenary of Poland regaining its independence after the First World War.

 

About Porgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess was written in 1935, just two years before Gershwin’s untimely death at the age of only 38.  The work was based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It is considered to be among the most important American musical compositions of the 20th century and contains many well-known songs, such as Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So and Oh I Can’t Sit Down.

David Temple and Wayne Marshall

 

Courtesy of Debbie Ram photography

David Temple MBE

David Temple MBE, the choir’s musical director, will accompany them in Poland, and has a long association with Wayne Marshall.  He says “I have worked with Wayne Marshall for over 25 years, mainly on ‘Porgy and Bess’, but also with Wayne playing Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’and the organ solo from Janacek’s ‘Glagolitic Mass’.”

 

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One Giant Leap – James McCarthy perspective

Inspiration and the desire to strive for a seemingly impossible goal can come from the most unexpected of places. Could anyone imagine today a President of the United States, or the leader of any country at all for that matter, unifying a nation behind a rallying cry for the spirit of adventure? John F Kennedy did just that in a speech in Houston, Texas, in September of 1962: ’Why, some say, the Moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may as well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? We choose to go to the Moon!’ 
We CHOOSE to go to the Moon. It can sometimes feel to us today that we are living in a world governed by the politics of division; of the building of walls to separate families, of dividing the loyalties of a nation simply in order to hold on to power, of leave or remain. 
What is so striking about Kennedy’s speech, more so today than it would have been in 1962, is the pure, unifying, vaulting ambition of it. And why should we go to the Moon? ‘We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.’
Of course, Kennedy’s motivations were not entirely pure. The constant threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union meant that dominion over the skies was politically and psychologically important to America at the time. But the greatest achievements of humanity are rarely completely altruistic, and the kind of money that was needed to develop the Apollo program was never going to be provided by the US government without some significant, non-scientific, politically-motivated factors. 
There is a parallel here with Alan Turing, who was gifted the opportunity and the funds to develop an early form of digital computer, the Bombe, not through the scientific curiosity of the British government but because it would help the British to decipher Enigma-encrypted German communications. Scientific necessity doesn’t tend to motivate politicians into action so much as the threat of losing wars, or votes.
Today, humanity faces perhaps the greatest challenge it has ever faced, that of protecting the Earth and everything that lives on it from irreversible harm by tackling the causes of climate change. If ever there was a time for us to unite behind a cause that is for the benefit of us all, it is now. But what are we doing? We have become consumed with petty political point-scoring, animosity and division. Wasting precious time.
Professor Stephen Hawking (in his last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions) wrote: ‘I hope that going forward, even when I am no longer here, people with power can show creativity, courage and leadership. Let them rise to the challenge of sustainable development goals, and act not out of self-interest, but out of common interest. I am very aware of the preciousness of time. Seize the moment. Act now.’
The astronaut Edgar D Mitchell (the sixth person to walk on the Moon) put it succinctly when he described how he felt when he looked at the Earth from the Moon: ’You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”’
Kennedy’s speech opens One Giant Leap and sets us on the journey ahead. After Kennedy’s speech (which also incorporates within it the finest poem ever written about the thrill of flying, by pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr, ‘High Flight’) we hear the echoes of our distant ancestors. For as long as we have been able to look up at the sky and wonder, we have praised the Moon and worshipped it. 
I also imagine the relationship between the Earth and the Moon, held forever in each other’s orbit, like lovers, but never quite able to reach out and touch. And here, William Henry Davies’s beautiful poem, ‘The Moon’, explores their romance from the point-of-view of the Earth: ‘Thy beauty haunts me heart and soul / Oh, thou fair Moon, so close and bright / Thy beauty makes me like the child / That cries aloud to own thy light’.
But this highly romantic atmosphere is not all it seems. There is danger too. As Shakespeare warns us in Act 5 of Othello: ‘It is the very error of the moon / She comes more nearer earth than she was wont / And makes men mad.’ 
When I initially started planning and preparing the script of One Giant Leap, I didn’t want to make the piece too specifically about the astronauts. In my previous two choral works, Codebreaker and Malala, the focus had been very much on the inner-life of specific individuals – Alan Turing and Malala Yousafzai. 
But as I read more about Neil Armstrong and watched interviews with him and those who knew him best, I became absolutely entranced by him. And so his personal involvement with the Apollo 11 mission became an increasingly significant part of the overall piece. 
Armstrong was a very private man who never used two words when one would suffice. He was uncomfortable speaking in public and yet he became the most famous man on the planet virtually overnight. His was a mercurial, unknowable, almost mythical character. The greatest pilot of a generation of brave and gifted test pilots who pushed the boundaries of aviation after the Second World War that NASA drew from for their space program. 
We feel the deep concern of Armstrong’s wife, Janet, as she watches the final launch preparations, and we hear Jack King’s famous countdown of the launch of Apollo 11. We also experience the unsettling strangeness of weightless flight on the journey to the Moon.
Perhaps it is because Armstrong never wasted a word in his life that the power of practically everything he said whilst on the Moon was so moving and poetic. When Armstrong says ’It’s very different, but it’s very pretty out here’, it really means something, it is worth a thousand words by any poet.
Sara Teasdale is a writer whose work I have a very close affinity to. I used four of her poems to tell the inner-story of Alan Turing in Codebreaker, and she reappears here at the end of One Giant Leap. This is both a celebration of the Apollo 11 mission and a hymn of praise to the Moon itself. ‘The Moon is a flower without a stem, The sky is luminous; Eternity was made for them, Tonight for us.’
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Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival

Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem – Hertfordshire Chorus to sing in Hatfield House, for Festival Finale

The Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival is now into its 7th year. The 2018 Festival celebrates ‘Brahms and Friends’ and will feature music by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann. The singers of Hertfordshire Chorus are delighted to have been asked to return again to sing Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in the Finale concert on Sunday 23rd September 2018 at 8pm.

Performers

The Chorus will take to the stage with a marvellous line up of internationally acclaimed performers –Ailish Tynan, Soprano,Ben McAteer, Baritone, the Faust Chamber Orchestra and conductor Mark Austin. 

Historic Location

The concert will take place in the Banqueting Hall of the Old Palace.  John Morton the Bishop of Ely built The Old Palace around 1485. The remaining wing contains the Banqueting Hall, which has most of its original roof timbers. Interestingly, many of them are peppered with gunshot. This is because when the building was later used as a stables trespassing sparrows were shot at as a discouragement.

Henry VIII bought the Palace in 1538 and his three children enjoyed a happy childhood there. Later Queen Mary kept her sister, Elizabeth I under house arrest at Hatfield.

Hertfordshire Chorus has been privileged to sing at Hatfield House on many occasions over the years. History right on our doorstep!

You can read more about this concert and buy tickets here.

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Forty Years On – David Temple MBE

Forty years on… 

Courtesy of Debbie Ram photographyDavid Temple MBE has been Musical Director for Crouch End Festival Chorus since 1984 and for Hertfordshire Chorus since 2000. But his musical life started long before that.

‘My conducting adventure all began 40 years ago on July 1st 1978.  I had been with the London Philharmonic Choir for 5 years and wanted to have a go at waving the baton.’

David was a teacher at Goldbeaters Primary School and had identified a need for investment in musical instruments. He decided to put on a concert to raise money towards this cause. He chose the date, booked a slot at St Alphage’s Church in Burnt Oak and set about finding performers.

‘I had already used my long-suffering school pupils as guinea pigs and, having provoked some sort of response from them, I collared some London Philharmonic Choir singers in the pub and asked if they would sing for me.  To my joy and surprise they said that they would!’

The concert was for choir and organ. David decided to include the school’s Recorder Consort, who were called upon to play some Byrd and Bach.

As concert day approached David started to experience his first case of ‘Conductor’s Anxiety’.

‘Because of nerves, I was unbearable to live with for many days either side of the concert.’

Concert Day

The organ in the church was a little rickety and it was only when the 50 strong choir burst in with Handel’s Zadok the Priest that the audience knew this might be worth listening to.  The programme included  Vivaldi’s Gloria as the main work and a performance of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus. 

The children performed brilliantly and David was very proud.

‘Those children will now be around 50 years old and I do wonder how their lives panned out and if they remember the event.

David recently realised that the anniversary of his first foray into the world of conducting coincides with an upcoming concert. Crouch End Festival Chorus, the choir that David helped to found in 1984, will perform Stravinsky Les Noces and Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at 3pm on July 1st 2018.

The Chorus will be joined by primary school children which seems fitting.

A Fitting Tribute

‘In general, I am someone who rarely looks back but on this occasion, I am proud to celebrate this anniversary and feel so blessed that I am loving my music-making more than ever!  I would like to dedicate the concert to all who have performed with me over these past 40 years’

Details for the concert are here:

https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/122062-stravinsky-les-noces-english-and-orff-carmina-burana-2018

 

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War Horse Coventry Cathedral

War Horse – BBC Radio 2

 

Hertfordshire Chorus was very pleased to have been asked to sing in a special performance of War Horse – The Story In Concert  for BBC Radio 2 in the special venue of Coventry Cathedral on Friday 18th May 2018.  The concert was part of Coventry’s Big Weekend Fringe Festival and was recorded for later broadcast. It also featured acclaimed actors Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow and the wonderful BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of conductor David Charles Abell.

 

The story of the book and the play

War Horse has been a huge success in recent years. The story is by now well-known – at the outbreak of World War One, Joey, Albert’s horse, is sold to the army and sent to France, where he experiences the conflict in the trenches, is bought and sold many times before ending up in No Man’s Land. Albert never forgot his beloved horse and enlists to follow him to France, with both of them returning at the end of the War.

The book was written by Michael Morpurgo in 1982 but it was not until it was adapted for the National Theatre in 2007 that it really made an impact. It reached an even wider audience through the 2011 film directed by Steven Spielberg. 

The concert version

The concert version, for choir, orchestra, soloist and narrators was written by Adrian Sutton and was performed in 2016 at the Royal Albert Hall. 

To be broadcast on Radio 2

This concert was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 Friday November 2nd at 7.30.

Listen to Devonshire Carol, recorded live at Coventry Cathedral

Our 2018 season

The choir has an exciting series of concerts, one highlight of which will be another partnership with the BBC Concert Orchestra to remember WW1 with Britten’s Ballad of Heroes, Bliss’s Morning Heroes and Ivor Gurney’s A Gloucestershire Rhapsody.

See our concert calendar here.

 

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Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival

Hertfordshire Chorus at Hatfield House

A little taste of Brahms in the Marble Hall

 

About our engagement

Hertfordshire Chorus has been asked to sing in the final concert of this year’s Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival in September – the third time we have been invited in the seven years of the Festival. 

The choir at the festival in 2017 singing Haydn’s Creation

The Festival was launched in a special concert in the Marble Hall at Hatfield House recently and a small group of singers sang an extract from Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem as a taster for the performance of the full work in the Festival itself.  The concert also featured fabulous performances by some of the people who will be appearing in the Festival, including cellist and Artistic Director of the Festival Guy Johnston, acclaimed tenor James Gilchrist and amazing pianists Anna Tilbrook, Tom Poster and Melvyn Tan. 

Accompanying the post-concert reception

The choir then entertained all the guests with some unaccompanied singing at a reception held in the Long Gallery – “.. beautiful contributions to the evening ..” was just one of the plaudits we received and we now look forward to September and the main event in what is a very high quality four-day Festival.

The Festival

The theme for 2018 is Brahms and Friends. This year the festival will run from 20th September with the finale on the 23rd. The reputation of the festival has grown significantly in the seven years since it began. Music is high quality and played in atmospheric surroundings.

Hertfordshire Chorus 2018 concert calendar

We have some fantastic concerts in 2018 including a reflection on WW1 at Watford Colosseum with BBC Concert Orchestra, Sam West as narrator, to be broadcast on BBC radio 2. Read about our other 2018 concerts here.

 

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History of a new commission – Michael Hurd ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle’

Michael Hurd Choral Music Recording

The Phoenix and the Turtle

A commission takes shape

The Canterbury Singers performed Michael Hurd‘s Music’s Praise for their annual concert in the Chapter House in Canterbury Cathedral in 1973. Chris Godfrey is a bass who has been singing in the choir for 50 years. When the Musical Director, Anthony Stutchbury, chose the piece for a concert, Chris wrote to the composer to ask him if he would like to attend. As Michael Hurd lived in Liss, a two hour drive from Canterbury, Chris’s wife, Janet, offered to provide him with a meal and a bed for the night.

On the day of the performance a green MG sports car drew up and a youngish chap dressed in smart casuals, got out. Chris was surprised. ‘I wasn’t sure what a composer would look like but I wasn’t expecting someone who looked like an ex-RAF pilot’. Michael Hurd periodically taught composition at the Royal Marine’s School in Deal so perhaps he had absorbed some of the atmosphere.

The birth of an idea

After the performance Chris, Janet and Michael got chatting over a beer at home. The conversation flowed easily. Chris was curious about the commissioning process and asked how the choir could set about it. ‘Just ask me!’ was the reply.

Chris asked how much a piece like Music’s Praise might cost.  Michael Hurd mentioned a figure, which Chris and Janet can’t remember, but it seemed affordable. Sadly the Canterbury Singers had no funds. The composer felt that if the choir could raise half the cost, the Canterbury Arts Council would probably match it. Janet suggested holding a jumble sale which was a tried and tested method for raising money at the time. Michael was amused and said it was the first time he’d had a commission funded this way.   Chris proposed that, if the committee agreed, they would like a piece to suit soprano soloist plus SATB voices. They would aim a concert the next year if the piece was finished in good time for rehearsals.

Michael Hurd had an idea for a piece of music already in his head which he agreed to develop for the Singers. The Phoenix and the Turtle  is an allegorical poem by Shakespeare that tells of the tragically frustrated love of two birds. Scholars have spent many years speculating on the meaning of the poem. One theory is that it refers to the love between Queen Elizabeth 1st and one of her courtiers. There are many layers and this makes it a perfect playground for musical imaginations.

 

*Canterbury Cathedral

In-house soloist

The choir was lucky to have an experienced soprano soloist in their ranks – Elizabeth Stutchbury, the wife of the Musical Director. Elizabeth was a little sniffy that her performance was supported by the selling of old clothes but it got the fundraising off to a great start. ‘The beauty of the soloist being a member of the choir was that she was in every rehearsal from the beginning. It was so much easier to learn the piece when we could hear the joins.’

The Canterbury Singers performed the premiere of The Phoenix and the Turtle with a piano accompaniment. The string and timpani score was written before publication by Novello in 1977.

New recording

Performances have been rare and the piece was recorded only once before the British Music Society selected it for a new CD of Michael Hurd’s works launched on the Lyrita label in April 2018. This fine recording features Hertfordshire Chorus, the London Orchestra da Camera and mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons. Chris Godfrey is looking forward to hearing the dramatic opening timpani, and the mysterious ending. ‘It was the most challenging part to sing.’

Chris Godfrey is delighted that the music he proposed 45 years ago has been revived for a new audience.  He did not meet Michael Hurd again after the premiere. ‘I wish I had kept in touch with him. He was a fascinating man who could turn his musical talents to all sorts of things.’

The Canterbury Singers have a full calendar of their own concerts and as a stand-in choir at Canterbury Cathedral when the Cathedral choir is away. Their current Musical Director is Adrian Bawtree, an assistant organist at the Cathedral. The Singers regularly use their best voices as soloists.  For example in their recent performance of parts of Rachmanov’s challenging All Night Vigil the contralto & tenor soloists were choir members. For more information about the choir follow the link.

 

* Reproduced with kind permission of Canterbury Cathedral Archives

 

 

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Michael Hurd recording launches

At-St-Judes's-Church

Launch

How do you launch a recording of lovely music written by a little-known composer like Michael Hurd? By singing it in a concert of course! So we’re really pleased to launch this recording on the label Lyrita Recorded Edition at a concert in St John’s Smith Square on the 14th April 2018.

Hertfordshire Chorus record Michael Hurd at St Judes Church

Hertfordshire Chorus record Michael Hurd at Art Judes Church

How this recording came about

This was another new experience for Hertfordshire Chorus. The British Music Society approached us about recording five works by British composer Michael Hurd.  Michael Hurd died in 2006, aged 77 after 50 years composing a wide variety of music.  The BMS established a charitable trust to administer a legacy from his estate, with the aim of fostering and encouraging recordings and performances of his music. He is perhaps best known for his Jonah-Man Jazz, sung by countless schoolchildren over the years.

Our task was not only to record the five compositions but also to project manage the recording! No small undertaking!

Organising the project

Music Director David Temple and Operations Director Robin Seaman set about organising the long list of things that had to be done.  St Jude’s Church in Hampstead is well known for its acoustic and is often used as a recording venue. We approached the London Orchestra da Camera, a regular concert partner. Place and orchestra sorted. Next task was to find a soloist for one of the pieces and we were very pleased to discover mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons.  All coming together – now we had to find a producer and recording engineer and turned to Gareth Williams, with whom we have worked a number of times. Finding the people and venue was only half the task, since we also had to find dates when all were available. No easy task when everybody’s diaries were so full. And don’t forget our own singers and their availability!  

David Temple conducting and Gareth Williams producing recording Michael Hurd's music06-06-17 Marta Fontanals-Simmons and Gareth Williams

A complex thing to organise and the recording dates seemed to be upon us very quickly.  So on a rainy morning on the 20th May 2017  the choir, orchestra, conductor and recording crew gathered at the church.  A second full recording day was held on the 3rd June 2017  when our soloist joined us.  The church needed to be set-up early in the morning on each day and then, recording finished, everything had to be cleared away, equipment packed in the van and the church returned to its primary function as a place of worship ready for the services the next day.

 

So what of Michael Hurd’s music did we record?

 

  • A Choral Cantata – words from Psalm 150 and from Richard Edwards and Tate & Brady, written in 1991 commissioned by the Southport Bach Society (now Choir) and first performed on 22 June 1991.
  • Music’s Praise – setting words from Alexander Pope, William Strode, William Shakespeare and Robert Herrick, commissioned by the Stroud Festival and first performed by the Festival Choir with Orchestra da Camera on 30 October 1968.
  • The Phoenix and the Turtle – setting words by William Shakespeare, commissioned by the Canterbury Singers and first performed on 6 June 1974 in the Chapter House Canterbury Cathedral.
  • A Song for St Cecilia – setting words by John Dryden, written for performance at the Havant and District Schools’ Music Festival in 1967.
  • This Day to Man – six hymns for the Nativity, commissioned by the Chichester Singers and first performed on 14 December 1974.

 

They were two long and tiring days of recording. Occasional interruptions included emergency vehicle’s sirens and  aeroplanes passing overhead.  A couple of the minor inconveniences of non-studio recording, especially in London!  But the experience was utterly rewarding.  We discovered some gems, really lovely music that was a joy to sing.

03-06-17 HC Folder and Vocal Score

Recording over, we go back to our other work, sad to leave this music behind for the time being. We do hope that Michael Hurd’s choral music will be rediscovered through this and other recordings. 

 

So to conclude this blog the recording release date was the 6th April 2018. We also made Michael Hurd’s music the centrepiece of our concert on 14th April 2018 joined by our sister choir Crouch End Festival Chorus and the original commissioner of The Phoenix and the Turtle.

Reviews

by Michael Quinn on Music Web International

by Andrew Achenbach in  Gramophone

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