A sixteen voice line-up for Howell's Requiem
Saturday 10th November 2012
(click here to see a fabulous video!)
The Requiem was composed in 1932. Howells withheld the score following his son's death (age 9) from polio in 1935. Parts were used in Howells 'Hymnus Paradisi', which was first performed at Gloucester Cathedral in 1950. Matt's father Richard was in choir on that historic occasion. Matt sang (treble!) in the original requiem, when it was published in 1980 - shortly before Howells died.
In the picture above you can see the amazing combination of voices that Matt had brought together for last year's performance of the Requiem. With Daisy Walford are three wonderful sopranos - Josie Walledge, Catherine Luke and Rachel Mitchell. Behind them, Edward Woodhouse can be seen in the tenor section. Beside alto David Acres is Exeter Cathedral Events Coordinator and Exeter/Exmouth/Wellington Choral Society Director, Lawrence Blyth. Just out of shot is Ed Woodhouse's brother Jonathan adding another counter-tenor voice. Behind David Acres is the Buckfast Abbey Director of Music, Michael Vian Clark, singing bass.
with his new-look twelve voice 'Antiphon'
20th April 2013
Daisy Walford and Catherine Luke were joined by another singer from Gloucestershire - soprano Emma Perona-Wright from Cheltenham (Company Secretary, Charity Correspondent and Supporter Administrator of the Serlo Consort.)
Returning from her new home in Stroud, mezzo soprano Juliet Curnow joined the choir as an outstanding third alto with David Acres and Jonathan Woodhouse.
|Alto Juliet Curnow
returns from Stroud
|Bass Andrew Mahon
Wells vicar choral
|Alto David Acres
created the programme
Each song was listed with a full history of the composer and work, and the full text with translation if necessary. Truly a labour of love - and invaluable during the concert, to fully appreciate the subtle wording and historical significance of each piece.
|Matt conducts Antiphon
just visible in the back row:
George Pooley, Charles Hughes,
Tom Castle, Andrew Mahon
a very special soprano
|Mary, Mary, and Salome
Convento di San Marco Florence
Fresco: Giovanni da Fiesole 1442
|"As the apple tree among the trees of the wood,
so is my beloved among the sons.
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste."
Song of Solomon Chapter 2
Woodcut: Hans Holbein II 1498-1543
The big event of the evening, divided between the first and second half of the concert, was the 'Missa Papae Marcelli' by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. This was simply magnificent. From the Kyrie to the Agnus Dei, all six sections were sung faultlessly. Every possible permutation of those twelve talented voices was pressed into service. The resulting sound seemed timeless - and endless. What a pity it had to end eventually.
Once again Antiphon and conductor Matthew Cann exceeded expectations with an exceptional evening of choral music. With a combination of great music, clever use of voices, skilled direction and, of course, masterful singing, the Antiphon choir transformed the already beautiful setting of Buckfast Abbey into a haven of auditory delight.
|- and countertenor
|Modestly in the background
Tenor from Harry Christophers' "Sixteen"