Monday, 14 November 2011

Classical Journey Tuesday 15 November

Following last week's show, The Exeter Singers gave a beautiful concert of songs and poems from the time of Henry VIII to the present day. The concert was given in St Margaret's Church Topsham. Tony Yeates conducted, and sang, and the choir performed beautifully. All proceeds went to the FORCE charity.

Simultaneously the Estuary Players of Topsham opened their run of Kurt Weil's 'Threepenny Opera' at Matthews Hall in Topsham. All four nights were a sell-out and thoroughly enjoyed by all. The singing and acting were superb.

On Wednesday at lunchtime, Mary O'Shea gave her opera recital to a very appreciative audience at Glenorchy, while a small but equally appreciative audience enjoyed Hilary Boxer and Jane Pirie's 'Cello Chaconne at Bicton College.

But then more serious matters took over. With the approach of Armistice Day, and Remembrance Sunday, requiem concerts were more the thing. On Friday evening Ben Pennington's Exeter University based 'Starling Octet' sang an a capela requiem by Herbert Howells in a candlelit Pinhoe Parish Church. This very moving performance was interspersed by war poetry and bible readings relevant to the terrible world conflicts of the twentieth century.

On Saturday night the East Devon Choral Society sang in St George's Church in Tiverton. Included in their programme were Peter Milmer's Requiem, Howard Goodall's 'Eternal Light', Nigel Walsh's 'Pie Jesu' and John Rutter's 'God Bless and Keep You'. A glorious concert. Clive Betts will report back on that during Tuesday's programme.

Also on Saturday evening, Dick Passmore's 'Classics Galore' included rousing songs to mark the Armistice, along with much other beautiful music besides - all to raise more money for the work of FORCE, to help cancer sufferers everywhere. Penny Daw sang two enchanting arias, Handel's 'Lascia ch'io Pianga' and Franz Lehar's 'Vilja' from 'The Merry Widow', while Julia Hill played Ennio Morricone's 'Gabriel's Oboe'. Penny concluded the proceedings in style by dressing in the Union flag to sing 'Rule Britannia' - with audience participation!

Amongst the many remembrance services on Sunday, Hilary Boxer and Jane Pirie delighted another, much larger audience with their 'Cello Chaconne at the Corn Barn in Cullumpton. With an additional player they included 'cello trio as a special treat - which everyone loved!

The Starling Octet at Pinhoe Parish Church
sing Howells' Requiem - by candlelight
Dick Passmore introduces 'Classics Galore'
at Exeter University Great Hall

Brian Northcott conducts the Exeter Symphony Orchestra

Soprano Penny Daw Sings Thomas Arne's 'Rule Britannia'
with the Ottery St Mary Choral Society and St David's Players
while Charles Fleming conducts the Lympstone SWT Brass Band

The FORCE representatives show their appreciation
for the work of Rosemary and Dick Passmore

'Cello Chaconne' goes further - a 'cello trio at the Corn Barn
Jane Pirie, Alice Bell and Hilary Boxer
play Joseph Lamb's 1915 'Reindeer Rag'
This week we have wall to wall opera and choral music. The English Touring Opera will be performing three English operas at the Exeter Northcott Theatre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday/Saturday respectively. They also have three choral concerts lined up starting on Tuesday. Full details on today's 'Classical Journey'.

During the same week we have two organ recitals - Alex West at Glenorchy and John Scarfe at Broadclyst. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be at the Great Hall, just as Handel's 'Xerxes' opens at the Northcott, and Ballet Theatre UK will be performing Hans Christian Anderson's 'Snow Queen' at the Barnfield Theatre the same evening - what a night!

While 'Xerxes' continues for another night, The Clyst Valley Choral Society will put on a concert of Bach, Charpentier, and Schubert at St Margaret's Topsham (repeated on Sunday at Holy Trinity in Exmouth), while the Exeter Festival Chorus sing John Rutter's 'Gloria' at the Cathedral - and the Voces renaissance choir sing and extraordinary programme of sixteenth century music at Buckfast Abbey.

Tune in tomorrow when your regular presenter Luch Caise-Dearg, with the help of 'roving reporter' Clive Betts, with guests Mary O'Shea and Jonathan Peter Kenny, make sense of it all - with lots of great baroque, classical, romantic and modern music along the way.

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