It’s time for even more choral favourites.
The range of choral music selected by the choir members has been interesting to say the least. An eclectic mixture of classical and contemporary choral music to please our regular followers.
Chris Wren and More Choral Favourites
New but experienced choir member, Chris Wren writes:
“From a very early age, music has been my passion.
As a boarder in Bath in the 50’s, the school took some of us to hear a performance of Handel’s Messiah in Bath Abbey.
I still remember the occasion well. It left a big impression on me and introduced me to choral works.”
Furthermore, Chris now selects ‘The Lamb’ by John Taverner. Composed in 1982, it’s a musical setting of the William Blake poem, The Lamb.
Chris also states that he likes it for its dissonance and contrasting harmonies.
Chris also recommends Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner.
And now for something completely different!
A fluent Welshman, Emyr ‘Slotter’ Thomas is yet another new member with a sharp sense of humour.
He nominates a Welsh song, ‘Titw Tomos Las’ (Blue Tit), made famous by legendary Welsh Trio, ‘Hogia’r Wyddfa’.
Emyr says “Titw Tomos Las” features in many a family wedding, pub, and even on top of mountains in the Tour de France.
To explain, Emyr is related to Geraint Thomas, Tour de France Winner in 2018, and the song has become Geraint’s signature tune.
Another of Emyr’s favourite choral songs is the Hebrew Slaves Chorus from Verdi’s opera, ‘Nabucco.’
“For the 2001 National Eisteddfod at Denbigh, we sang under the guidance of the fantastic Rhys Jones. I ended singing it with the choir for the Cymanfa Ganu.
But on the night of the concert, I was a parking attendant (with the Rugby Club) and sang it in the parking lot!
Experienced baritone Peter Davies offers the following as his favourites.
Berlioz Requiem ( Grande Messe des Morts). I like the contrast between the dramatic and calm moments in this work.
Verdi Requiem. More operatic in nature and again the contrasts are moving.
Faure Requiem. A more calm version of the Requiem
The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins. This is a modern work with some beautiful harmonies and an interesting mixture of styles.
Bernstein’s Mass. Written by Leonard Bernstein and sadly rarely performed. A wonderful mixture of different styles and the spoken word.
“I have sung in the chorus for all these except the Bernstein Mass. I just love dramatic works such as these, although the Faure is the exception.”
To conclude, the final selection is offered by Andrew Faulkner.
“My favourite choral work is defiantly Mahler’s choral final movement of his Symphony No 2.
I first heard this as a teenager. It still makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck as it did when I went to hear it at the Bridgewater Hall about 10 years ago.”
Gustavo Dudamel, conducts the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Miah Persson, soprano, Anna Larsson, mezzo-soprano and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
Ed: This is powerful music that causes Anna Larsson to openly weep at the end. In short, I urge you to watch it.
Andrew also recommends Hans Zimmer’s ‘Circle of Life’, from the hugely successful ‘The Lion King’.
“I am a huge fan of all of Zimmer’s music. You don’t have to understand the words to enjoy great music.
This is world music at its best and another great finale.”
Ed: Thanks to all choir members who have contributed to more choral favourites.