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Music Appreciation Group - December 2018

by Glenys - 08:43 on 13 December 2018

Nine members gathered at Valerie’s house on Monday, 3 December, for the monthly meeting of the music group. Ally’s choice of topic was ‘Christmas’, and resulted in the following extremely enjoyable and varied choices:

Babs:  1. A beautiful and very peaceful Bulgarian Slavonic chant performed, unaccompanied, by low male voices; 2. ‘Silent Night’, sung by Katherine Jenkins with a simple accompaniment.

Eithne:  1. ‘Sleigh Ride’, from ‘Three German Dances’ by Mozart.  No second choice.

Allan:  1. ‘Somerset Wassail’ – a ‘classical’ arrangement of the folk song by John Rutter, sung by the Cambridge Singers;  2.  ‘Hodie Christus natus est’, also sung by the Cambridge Singers.

Angela:  1. ‘Magnificat’ by Orlando de Lassus, performed by the Pittsburg Camerata, with Angela’s daughter Elizabeth singing in the choir;  2. ‘What Sweeter Music’ – a setting by John Rutter of a Robert Herrick poem, sung by the Cambridge Singers.

David:  1 and 2.  Traditional carols from the Tatra Mountains of Poland sung by the Jan Kerpel Group, with violin and bass accompaniment – two shortish contrasting pieces on a CD of a very long radio broadcast of 1944.

Ally:  1. ‘The Three Kings’, from ‘A Boy was Born’ by Benjamin Britten, performed by the Trinity Boys’ Choir with the BBC Chorus;  2. An organ piece from ‘La nativite  de Seigneur’ by Messiaen.

Jean:  1. ‘The Star of the Wiseman’, from a ‘Best of Ladysmith Black Mambaso’ CD;    2. ‘Sleigh Ride’ from ‘Winter Night’ by Delius, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Beecham.  (Originally a piano piece, this was later orchestrated by the composer.)

Louise:  1.  ‘Emmanuel’ from Waterson’s CD ‘Frost and Fire’ – a ‘folk’ version of  ‘O come, O come Emmanuel’ performed by four unaccompanied voices;  2. Bach’s ‘Christmas Oratorio’ – the opening and first chorus.

Valerie’s two choices were ‘An English Country Garden’ and ‘The First Nowell’, to be performed by the Music Group members on her small handbells.  All but Jean and Eithne participated, some members with one and some with two bells, and with Valerie conducting.

The next meeting, on Monday, 7 January, will take place at Glenys’s house.  David’s choice of theme is:  ‘Music highlighting stringed instruments (solos, sonatas, concertos, etc).


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