King's goes green
2 April 2013
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, famous around the world in particular for its Christmas broadcasts, has announced that it is to ditch the iconic red cassock in favour of new green vestments. In a statement, director of music Stephen Cleobury confirmed the changes are related to new music commissions for 2013: ‘Every year the Choir performs a number of new commissions by some of the world's leading composers. The only trouble is that modern performance directions can be very specific. This year's Christmas broadcast composer has gone one step ahead of the pack and specified the colour of the clothes to be worn during performance. I'm not sure what the Dean will make of it.’
The surprise announcement from King’s was issued on April 1.
Colin Walsh Live on Radio 3
22 March 2013
Walsh will perform from Lincoln Cathedral in April
Colin Walsh will perform from Lincoln Cathedral in the network's prestigious Radio 3 Live in Performance strand, from 7.30 to 9pm on Monday 15 April.
Walsh, who is the Cathedral's organist emeritus, pursued a three-year course of study with Jean Langlais at St.Clotilde in Paris; this inspired him to specialise in French symphonic and modern music, in particular the works of Franck, Vierne and Langlais. All of these composers, along with Tournemire, Dupré, Duruflé and Messiaen will feature in the live recital.
Organ music has become something of a backwater on the BBC's classical music station - Walsh's recital is thought to be the first live relay in the main schedule since a programme associated with the opening of the new organ in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, over ten years ago. This followed an 'Organ Night' when Gillian Weir broadcast live from Stockholm and Olivier Latry from Truro Cathedral in a single evening.
Booking details for Colin Walsh's Lincoln recital are at http://lincolncathedral.com/events/radio-3-concert/
EIF choral programme favours tried-and-tested
13 March 2013
Gergiev will conduct the Edinburgh Festival Chorus in an all-Prokofiev eveningChris Christodoulou/BBC
Christoph Rousset will showcase instruments preserved in Edinburgh’s St Cecilia’s Hall Museum
The Edinburgh International Festival has announced its programme for 2013. The roster of concerts for the 'official' festival takes a conservative approach to choral music. For opening night (9 Aug), the all-conquering Russian maestro Valery Gergiev conducts the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in an all-Prokofiev evening including the dramatic cantata Alexander Nevsky with the mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina.
The following evening (10 Aug) vocal group Synergy Voices will take part in a performance of Luciano Berio's Sinfonia for orchestra and eight amplified voices, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov.
The National Youth Choir of Scotland performs Fauré’s Requiem (17 Aug) with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and soloist Sir Thomas Allen.
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir pays a visit (29 Aug) with their conductor Daniel Reuss, performing Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, Arvo Pärt's Two Slavonic Psalms, Alfred Schnittke's Three Sacred Hymns, and three lush, Romantic works by Estonian composer Cyrillus Kreek. The festival concludes with a performance of Verdi's Requiem (31 Aug): Donald Runnicles conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Festival Chorus, with soloists Erin Wall (soprano), Luciana D’Intino (mezzo), Aleksandrs Antonenko (tenor) and the Metropolitan Opera's formidable Alberich, Eric Owens (bass).
Of interest to keyboard fans will be two recitals in which Christoph Rousset showcases instruments preserved in Edinburgh’s St Cecilia’s Hall Museum. On Thursday 22 August, he plays music by Frescobaldi, Scarlatti and CPE Bach on three contrasting instruments: a superbly decorated polygonal virginal made by Alessandro Bertolotti in Verona in 1586; a single-keyboard harpsichord built around 1620 in Naples; and a beautifully painted double-keyboard harpsichord made in France by Luigi Baillon in 1755. The following afternoon, Rousset selects two instruments for a recital of Purcell, Louis Couperin, Rameau, Balbastre and Royer: as well as a single-keyboard harpsichord made in London by Thomas Barton in 1709, he performs on Pascal Taskin’s Parisian double-keyboard harpsichord from 1769, an instrument that has spawned countless copies and is widely admired as probably the world’s most famous harpsichord.
12 March 2013
Tabernacle Church, in Cardiff’s city centre, is launching a Pipeathon on Saturday 16 March (9am-9pm) to help raise the remaining £15,000 of the total £100,000 cost of restoring its organ. Three organists, dressed in Wales rugby shires, will each play 3-hour sets in the run up to the Wales v England Six Nations rugby match.
The organ’s total piping is ‘divided’ into sections which can be sponsored for £1 per foot.
The organ was built in 1907 by the Bath firm of Griffen & Stroud and benefited from a substantial donation from Sir Alfred Thomas MP (later Lord Pontypridd), a faithful deacon at Tabernacle from 1883 until his death in 1927. By 1972 the organ was in a poor state of repair, and J.W. Walker & Sons of London were employed to change the original tracker action to electro-pneumatic, along with other essential repair work. While celebrating the organ’s centenary in 2007, it was obvious that many parts of the instrument – some of them original – were showing their age. Henry Willis & Sons, Liverpool were chosen to carry out the restoration.
The event on 16 March is open to the public.
RSCM appoints new Council members
8 March 2013
The Royal School of Church Music has welcomed two new members to its governing body.