Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Music from land, sea and sky

FOLLOWING on from their hugely successful concert last year Henley-based choir Aliquando are again singing for charity.

FOLLOWING on from their hugely successful concert last year Henley-based choir Aliquando are again singing for charity.

Last year the choir raised £3,000 for the RNLI. This year they hope to raise even more for their recipient charity, the Chiltern Centre for disabled children. This year the choir will be accompanied by a virusoso pianist from Henley, Anita D’Attellis, as well as West Forest Sinfonia, a Berkshire-based group acknowledged as one of the most accomplished amateur orchestras in the country.

Musical director Anne Evans says: “We have chosen an amazing charity to support and have matched it with an equally fine musician, Anita D’Attellis who will be playing and also accompanying Aliquando for Elgar’s song-cycle Sea Pictures which has been newly arranged for choirs.”

Elgar’s song cycle is made up of five songs written by various poets. It was written for contralto and orchestra, although there is also a distinct version for piano which Elgar often played himself.

The première of this cycle was held on October 5, 1899 with Elgar conducting and the celebrated contralto Clara Butt singing, dressed as a mermaid.

Mrs Evans said: “Fortunately — or unfortunately, whichever way you view it — it is not to be emulated by the choir on October 19. Clara Butt performed it for Queen Victoria at Balmoral but sadly there is no record of what Clara wore on that occasion.”

The repertoire for the concert, Of Land, Sea And Sky, will also include Lux Aeterna by Lauridsen and Pastoral Mass by Pavlica.

Anita read music at Birmingham University and studied piano at the Birmingham Conservatoire, graduating with first class honours and winning the Arnold Goldsborough prize for her final solo recital.

She was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music where she specialised in accompaniment.

She has developed a keen interest in chamber music, winning national competitions which have led to performances at the Royal Albert Hall and the Purcell Rooms in London.Anita has played for many opera singers and choirs, and has toured Europe with children’s choirs, as well as performing with Welsh male choirs. Now based in Henley, she teaches piano at Eton College.

Of Land, Sea And Sky is at St Mary’s Church on October 19 at 7.30pm. Tickets are now on sale from Boatique in Hart Street or by calling (01491) 578238.

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