Cantemus Choir gave their summer concert at St Jamesâ€™s Church, Emsworth, on Saturday June 27th. The concert was billed as â€œEnglish music for a summer eveningâ€ and featured the music of English composers from the 13th to 20th centuries. Musical Director William Waine conducted, sporting a bow tie in the red cross on white design of the English flag. Christopher Pilgrim accompanied the choir on the piano, with solos by baritone Daniel Tate.
The programme was grouped in sections beginning with the end of winter, including the ancient round â€œSummer is a-coming inâ€, moving through springtime, with rounds and songs by Byrd, Hilton and Henry VIII, depicting mirth and play, to mystical midsummer, represented by Vaughan Williamsâ€™ folk song â€œLinden Leaâ€ and his â€œFive Mystical Songsâ€, and ending with the calm contentment of Pilkingtonâ€™s â€œRest Sweet Nymphsâ€, Stanfordâ€™s â€œHeraclitusâ€ and Sullivanâ€™s â€œThe Long Day Closesâ€.
Along the way there were Gilbert and Sullivan songs from The Grand Duke, The Yeoman of the Guard and the Pirates of Penzance, in which soprano Janet Hillman from the choir joined the baritone soloist in a duet. Many songs featured birds, such as the contrasting pieces by Stanford â€“ â€œThe Bluebirdâ€ (with its sublime soaring soprano line) - â€œThe Blackbirdâ€ by the Beatles, and a setting of â€œA Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Squareâ€, arranged by the conductor.
The concert was considerably enhanced by the rich baritone voice of soloist Daniel Tate, whose performance in the Vaughan Williams especially showed he was equally at home in loud and soft passages.
One of the highlights of the evening was a piano duet in which conductor William Waine and accompanist Christopher Pilgrim played a rousing version of Percy Graingerâ€™s â€œCountry Gardensâ€ from which the concertâ€™s title â€œIn an English Country Gardenâ€ was taken.
Cantemus Choir welcomes new members in all voice parts, especially tenors. For more information, contact the choir secretary: 023 9246 3531 email: email@example.com website: www.cantemushavant.moonfruit.com