Wow, what a success! Your blogista (have I invented that name – maybe it’s just too many americanos at Costa!) was able to get to this Spring, Jubilate Deo concert and sit in the audience for the first time, having stood on the stage with the choir many times before. As a chorister, one is never really sure how things have gone, so it must have been great for all concerned to see the audience rise for a well-deserved standing ovation.
My fellow choir members will know that my preferred composers are all a long time deceased, and I had a real concern when I realised that Jubilate Deo’s composer was a lot younger that our children, so I came to the United Reform Church anticipating an evening of “modern music” i.e. atonal cacophony. How wrong I was! Jubilate Deo was tuneful, uplifting and sung well with an excellent orchestra and soloists.
To have found someone who could play the Chinese Erhu and the Hammered Dulcimer was something of a triumph, too. The former adding an authentic and haunting background to the 3rd item “Ta cao chang de yang”, sung in Mandarin Chinese, while as Dan Forrest himself said it was probably the first time that a real Hammered Dulcimer had actually been used to play the score, as written.
Here’s what Lee had to say to the choir members, after the event, which encapsulates everything very well, and saves me rabbiting on: –
“Dear Wellingborough Singer
Well, where to start? 1 conductor, 14 instrumentalists, 69 singers, and 225 in the audience. That’s 309 people sharing a quite remarkable evening last Saturday.
What a joyful noise it was right from the beginning to the end. The opening Vaughan Williams had plenty of light and shade, and a really stunning climactic final section. And from there we went on to The Lark Ascending.
There is no doubt that the acoustics of the space, designed so that a single preacher could be heard in every corner of the building, helped the violin soar.
We were so delighted that Chris White was able to step in after our planned soloist had to withdraw, and what a beautiful sound he made from beginning to end.
Of course, the interval was rather longer than anticipated – with over 300 people’s thirst to quench (amongst other essential interval activities) it was inevitable – but the second half was well worth the wait. All your the work paid off! We had tender and beautiful moments, esoteric sounds, and climaxes the like of which have not been heard in Wellingborough before. Even in my wildest dreams I didn’t imagine that it would come off as well as Carmina Burana had done last year, but it did – indeed, it was even better.
I have offered my thanks (indeed our thanks) to the soloists, instrumentalists, and the wonderful singers from NMPAT, and if you are able to access Facebook you will have seen a plethora of wonderful photos, a video of our dulcimer player in action, and a superb video of the standing ovation at the end of the concert. I also offer continued thanks to Steve, to Gesa and the committee, to everyone who assisted in the logistics, and especially to you all for continuing to make music live (in both senses of the word)”