Lovers, blooms and all those things
September officially marks the beginning of spring. What better way to celebrate the respite of winter chills than a concert of music associated with all things spring?
Love and lovers, flowers, sheep and birds make up this potpourri of music associated with the season of sowing of seeds and singing of birds. Guest musical director Peter de Blois directs the choir in a selection of pieces, exploring the wide range of styles for which Nota Bene has become noted.
English composer Gerald Finzi wrote his Seven Partsongs between 1934 and 1937 on texts by Robert Bridges. The choir will sing five of the seven works: I praise the tender flower, I have loved flowers that fade, My spirit sang all day, Clear and gentle stream, and Wherefore to-night so full of care.
A contemporary of Finzi, fellow English composer Ernest John Moeran wrote his Songs of Springtime in 1934 to Elizabethan texts by Shakespeare, Fletcher, Nashe, Daniel, Brown and Herrick. EJ Moeran deserves to be better known and this setting is a fine example of his compositional style.
The second half of the concert features works from the USA, England and New Zealand and allows the choir to enjoy a lighter style.
Many will recognise A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square, this time in an arrangement by Philip Walsh, former Musical Director of the Orpheus Choir. The women of the choir frolic with spring lambs and, following on from the lovely piece by Janet Jennings in the last concert, perform two works by this New Zealand composer whose music is a pleasure to sing.
The full choir sings a scrumptious setting of Rise up my heart with text taken from the Bible; I love my love, a Cornish folk song arranged by that great collector of English folksongs, Gustav Holst; and finishes with a cool jazz arrangement of It was a lover and his lass by John Rutter.
There are some other treats as well, so come along and enjoy the delights of spring.
Sunday 16 September, 3.00pm
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hill Street, Wellington
Tickets $25, concession $20, schoolchildren free
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