Peace on Earth – Autumn 2019

Peace On Earth : Autumn 2019

Our concert included three outstanding English choral composers of their generation: Benjamin Britten, Gerald Finzi and John Rutter.

Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” (with harp accompaniment)
Finzi’s “In Terra Pax” for chorus, Baritone soloist and orchestra
John Rutter’s “When Icicles Hang” with Baritone and Soprano soloists and chamber orchestra.

The Bristol Ensemble accompanied us, contributing to our programme with the popular “Capriol Suite” by Peter Warlock.

Programme write-up:

The Malmesbury Singers were in fine voice and gave a splendid winter concert last Saturday in the Abbey.  Highlights were the harp accompaniment in the Britten Ceremony of Carols, the atmospheric orchestral writing in Rutter’s setting of winter songs, the vigorous playing of the Bristol ensemble in Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite and the soloists in Finzi’s In Terra Pax and the wonderful choral singing from the choir.

One appreciative concert goer commented,” A fabulous programme with just enough of a hint of Christmas without causing me to say, ‘bah humbug, it’s too early!’  Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!

The concert began with Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols; Balulalow sung by the women with the soprano soloist Rachel Hayden and harpist Emily Mullins was particularly beautiful.

In Terra Pax by Gerald Finzi for soloists, chorus and strings was a delight; lyrical and mellow.  The choir sang confidently, the soloist, Martin de Poidevin, was superb and every word could be clearly heard.  The excitement of  the choir’s And Lo the Angel and the beauty of the angel’s Fear Not, sung by Rachel was beautifully done.  Glory to God, the final chorus, rang around in the Abbey.

The strings of the Bristol Ensemble were a delight in Warlock’s Capriol Suite; a set of six dances in Renaissance style – energetic, lyrical, humorous in turn.

The concert closed with John Rutter’s When Icicles Hang; a collection of six mainly medieval winter poems set atmospherically to music with wonderful chilly percussion effects.  After the chill of the winter winds we were sent on our way by the jolly final song, Make we merry.



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