Friday, 19 August 2022

‘Music and poetry’ will be in concert

THE South Chiltern Choral Society’s equivalent to Glyndebourne is coming up soon

THE South Chiltern Choral Society&rsquos equivalent to Glyndebourne is coming up soon — with tickets now on sale for the group&rsquos summer concert on Saturday, July 9.

The venue for the event is Queen Anne&rsquos School in Henley Road, Caversham, with the audience being invited to enjoy a picnic in the grounds from 5pm.

The concert itself starts at 7pm and this year the themes are music and poetry, featuring a relationship between music and specific poetic forms.

Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare, included to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright&rsquos death, is a collection of well-known texts set to music by the jazz pianist George Shearing.

Many of Shakespeare&rsquos plays call for music and Shearing&rsquos modern settings present a captivating vision of the Bard&rsquos elegant, wistful and comic style.

Bob Chilcott&rsquos Songs and Cries of London Town features an inventive take on Britain&rsquos traditional musical street cries, together with William Wordsworth&rsquos lyrical Composed upon Westminster Bridge and The Flower of Cities All by Scottish poet William Dunbar, interspersed with the 18th century rhyme Oranges and Lemons.

The choir will also perform the Didcot Haiku composed by their musical director and conductor Paul Burke and based on short poems by James Potter about his commute through Didcot Parkway station.

The smaller choral pieces in the programme are madrigals — a specific poetic genre — while some of the piano solo items will relate to London, namely Carillon de Westminster by Louis Vierne (based on the chimes of Big Ben) and Handel in the Strand by Percy Grainger. The pianists for the summer concert will be Thomas Graff and Julian Littlewood.

With over 100 members, many of whom have been singing with the choir for over 30 years, and with a varied repertoire of music, featuring guest professional musicians, the choir&rsquos performances are always well received.

Tickets for adults are priced £12 and are available via or by calling 07500 032840.

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