Autumn Concert at St Michael's, Flixton
The Flixton concert didn’t have snow like last year ... but we did get thunder and lightning, which went very well with Reg’s stunning programme cover ‘Sunset and the Dark’ning Blue’. The title was taken from René Clausen’s Tonight Eternity Alone sung by the Chorale that evening. The programme was very well received by the audience in the packed church: ‘A nice mixture of light and shade.’
Two new pieces deserve mention (according to randomly selected relatives of this writer): Morten Lauridsen’s Dirait-on (So they say) is a simple but beautiful theme sung as a series of rounds to great effect. ‘You sounded very French’, one surprised listener was heard to mention. ‘Do you get coaching?’ Yes, we do (by first bass Nick, who used to teach French). How They So Softly Rest is a motet written by Healey Willan commemorating the dead of the First World War to Wordsworth’s poem. The lower voices sing the Mistico to nothing, followed by the upper voices singing ‘And they no longer weep’. A very moving part that had the audience holding their breath and my interviewee admitting to tears in her eyes.
The lighter songs the audience clearly enjoyed were Bob Chilcott’s Buffalo Girls, which has a tongue-twister in tight harmony in the middle that took some rehearsing, and Cole Porter’s Miss Otis Regrets, which has delicious harmonies and is a very nice song ... until you realise what the song is about!
Next time we sing at Flixton, David (another first bass and soloist on the night, singing some lovely Quilter) has threatened to bring a screwdriver to rearrange the pews for the choir so we can all see Jill, rather than just her fingertips.
Altogether a brilliant concert with a perfectly constructed programme by our Musical Director Jill.