This Friday and Saturday, the Ad Hoc Chamber Choir will be performing a programme of renaissance choral music, and music by Sergei Rachmaninov.
Friday: St Mary Arches Church Exeter - to raise funds for the St Stephen's Project
Saturday: Church of the Holy Cross Crediton - for the Parish Music Endowment Fund
In both cases, admission is free with a retiring collection
Ad Hoc had a glorious rehearsal at Killerton Chapel on Sunday afternoon. Visitors to the gardens could hear the beautiful music of the choir inside the chapel and flocked in to hear the choir sing unnacompanied under the direction of Matthew Pollard and Alex West.
Matthew and Alex were also singing, and there were several other familiar voices in the choir: Katherine Luke (soprano with Matthew Cann's Antiphon Choir), Ben Pennington (Tenor and Director of the Starling Octet), altos Sophie Nicholson and Katherine Salvetti, soprano Marianne Butler and bass Bjoen Fabritus.
As the sun set the choir were drenched in muliticoloured light from the stained glass of the rose window. The beautiful play of light just added to the magical experience of this timeless music performed in such an atmospheric setting.
The full concert will be performed this weekend in Exeter and Crediton on Friday and Saturday - in equally magical settings.
Laurence Blyth will not be with them. He will be directing the Wellington Choral Society and Sinfonia in Bach's 'St John Passion' at St John's Church Wellington on Saturday. However, Laurence has directed Ad Hoc in the past - in productions of Mozart's Requiem and Vaughan-Williams' Mass in G minor - all sung a capela.
What have Matthew Pollard and Alex West been preparing for us under the mysterious title of 'Vechernya'?
Choral music by Padilla, Sheppard, Byrd, Victoria and Palestrina, will be interspresed by extracts from Sergei Rachmaninov's '1915 Vespers' (music for the 'All Night Vigil' on 10th March 1915 for the Russian war effort - which was banned along with all religious music after the October revolution in 1917).
Sergei Rachmaninov: 'Vespers 1915' - All Night Vigil
1. Приидите, поклонимся ("Priidite, Poklonimsya") = Come, Let Us Worship
3. Блажен муж ("Blazhen Muzh") = Blessed is the Man
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla: Missa Ego Flos Campi (Mass: I am the flower of the field)
1. Kyrie Elèison (Lord have Mercy)
2. Glòria in Excèlsis Deo (Glory to God)
3. Sanctus, Dòminus Deus Sàbaoth (Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts)
Benedictus es Dòmine (Blessed be the Lord)
4. Agnus Dei qui Tollis Peccàta Mundi Miserère Nobis
(Lamb of God, who removes the world's sins, take pity on us)
John Sheppard: "Libera nos, Salva nos" (Save us, Save us)
Anonymous (? Juan Perez de Bocanegra: Ritual Formulario e Instituciòn de Curas, Lima, 1631):
"Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin" (in the Quechua language of Peru: "Joy of Heaven")
William Byrd: "O God the proud are risen against me"
Tomás Luis de Victoria: "Ave Maria, gratia plena" (Hail Mary, full of grace)
Rachmaninov: 12. Слава в вышних Богу ("Slava V Vyshnikh Bogu") = Glory to God in the Highest
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: 'Kyrie' from Missa Papea Marcelli (Pope Marcellus Mass 1555)
Rachmaninov: 13. Днесь спасение миру быст ("Dnes Spaseniye Miru Byst")
= The World is saved Today
14. Воскрес из гроба ("Voskres Iz Groba") = Risen from the Grave
15. Взбранной Воеводе ("Vzbrannoy Voyevode") = Conquering Hero
What a programme!
Anyone interested in joining the Ad Hoc Choir, and taking part in future choral wonders - contact: