Past Concerts - “Notes from America” – Concert of American Music

Cantorum Choir

Date - Saturday 19th June 2010
Event - “Notes from America” – Concert of American Music
Venue - Holy Trinity Church Cookham
     

“Notes from America” was an elegantly programmed concert that came off with real transatlantic pizzazz. Elisabeth Toye’s full debut as Cantorum’s Musical Director set the choir challenges in terms of difficult new repertoire and a demanding variety of styles.

The first half pieces were serious, intense examples of American choral writing. Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms is full of driving rhythms and clashing harmonies over which simple, haunting melodies frequently triumph. The first movement is alive with shouts and exuberance. In the second, the boy treble, supported by the sopranos and altos, gives a beautiful account of the twenty-third psalm against a background of angry threat, represented by the tenors and basses. (Here we were very privileged to welcome a fine guest treble soloist, Connor Garnett-Comerford from Holy Trinity Choir.) In the third movement there is a strong tune suggesting healing, after which all agitation finally resolves into calm. The choir gave a very creditable account of the piece, shaping the various moods and musical contrasts well.

The other first half choral item featured two of Eric Whitacre’s Three Flower Songs: “I hide Myself” and “With a Lily in Your Hand”. These comparatively recent compositions have already become favourites in America. They are complex, yet immensely rewarding, with their shimmering harmonies and dazzling movement. We were delighted to introduce them to our repertoire and look forward to singing them regularly.

Cantorum often includes instrumental items to add variety to our concerts. We are lucky to have very talented instrumentalists within the choir. Mention must be made of Jo Hutchins’s excellent performance of four short American piano pieces between the two first half choral items, and, in the second half, a delicious fantasy on American tunes played by another member of the soprano section, Julia Bentley Dawkes (Flute), together with her sister Maddy Bentley (Violin) and Gillian Salmon (Piano). Both instrumental items were much enjoyed by audience and choir alike.

The second half of the concert moved on to much more familiar musical territory. Samuel Barber’s transcript for choir of his famous Adagio (as an Agnus Dei) was the first item. Following that, we gave four of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs: “At the River”, “Little Horses, “Simple Gifts” and “Ching-a-Ring-Chaw” – with the two middle numbers taken by women’s and men’s voices respectively. The programme’s final flourish was of four Gershwin favourites: “I Got Rhythm”, “Slap that Bass”, “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty of Nuttin’”. These were a joy to sing and to hear, and it was clear from the response that we achieved that much-strived-for goal of leaving the audience wanting more!

 
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Previous Concerts

2017

Valentines Black Tie Dinner

2016

Carols by Candelight

2016

Polyphony: A Concert of Renaissance Masterpieces

2016

If Music be the Food of Love

2016

J S Bach Mass in B Minor

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2015

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2015

Valentines Dinner Concert

2014

‘For Unto Us a Child is Born’-Messiah Highlights and other Christmas Favourites

2014

Haydn 'Nelson' Mass, Trumpet Concerto, Mozart Te Deum

2014

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2014

Bach's St John Passion

2013

"Sing this Night" - Christmas with Cantorum

2013

Bach ‘Magnificat’, Piano Concerto #1, ‘Singet dem Herrn’

2013

“Great Britten” - Glorious English Music

2013

Valentine's Supper Concert

2012

Christmas with Cantorum

2012

Mozart Requiem

2012

All Creatures Great and Small - Music inspired by Animals

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Handel’s Messiah

2011

Christmas Carol Concerts

2011

Fauré Requiem

2011

Dixit Dominus by G F Handel

2011

Valentine’s Supper Concert

2010

“O Holy Night” – Christmas Carol Concert

2010

"Mass of the Children" by John Rutter

2010

“Notes from America” – Concert of American Music

2010

"The Reluctant Dragon"

2010

"Faire is the Heaven"

2009

"Christmas is coming"

2009

"Mozart in Marlow"

2009

"Jazz for June"

2009

Valentine’s Sumptuous Supper

2008

Christmas Carol Concert

2008

“Vivaldi in Venice”

2008

“Myths and Melodies: Music for a Summer’s Evening”

2008

J.S. Bach’s St John Passion

2007

Christmas Concert

2007

25th Anniversary Concert

2007

Joint Concert with the Fonte Choir from Japan

2007

Valentine’s Sumptuous Supper

2006

Carol Concert

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Poulenc's Gloria

2006

Concert of English folk songs

2006

Cantorum in Venice

2006

A Concert of Easter Music

2005

Christmas Music

2005

Fauré's Requiem and Rutter's Requiem

2005

Haydn's Creation

2005

Valentine's Sumptuous and Songs

2004

Christmas Music

2004

Cantorum trip to Paris

2004

Summer Evening Concert

2004

Bach's Magnificat

2003

Christmas Concert

 

 

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info@cantorumchoir.org.uk