Our first outing since COVID-19 struck and prevented us gathering to rehearse, at St. Cuthbert’s Church in Wells, on September the 18th, was an emotive occasion. The programme had been voted on by choir members from material which we had been able to access in a Zoom moderated home karaoke fashion. In addition, our conductor commissioned a work by Ian Assersohn (https://www.appletreemusic.net/) to mark and celebrate the return of some degree of new normality.
We opened the concert with the world premiere of Ian’s composition, aptly named ‘After’. Much of the music chosen felt as if it captured some of the depth of feeling felt during Lock-down – we sang of the desolation of Jerusalem, and a prayer for forgiveness. The concert moved us and the audience through some very rich musical scenery, culminating in the second performance of ‘After’. There were many moist eyes and lumps in the throat. For this writer at least, it must go down in memory as an extremely moving occasion, and one not easily forgotten.
By kind permission of the composer, here is a live recording of that second performance: ‘After’, written by Ian Assersohn and sung by the Swan Singers.
The Swan Singers will be at the Bishop’s Palace in Wells on Saturday 14th December as part of the Christmas celebrations ‘Christmas at the Palace’.
Between 12.00 noon and 12.45 pm we will be in the Bishop’s Chapel performing some wonderful sacred Christmas music by composers old and new.
At 1.15 pm the singers will move to the Gallery to indulge in a selection of lighter Christmas musical fare, with gems such as Sleigh Ride and Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and many other seasonal favourites.
Swans On Tour Yorkshire 2018!!
Monday 28th May – Carlisle Cathedral (evensong) Skempton – Preces and Responses Howells – Magnificat and Nunc ‘Collegium Regale’ Howells – Like as the Hart
Wednesday 30th May – Giggleswick School Chapel Bainton – And I Saw a New Heaven Blow – Salvator Mundi Byrd – Sing Joyfully Finzi – Lo the Full Final Sacrifice Gibbons – O Clap your Hands Harris – Faire is the heaven Howells – Like as the Hart Ireland – Greater Love hath No Man Parsons – Ave Maria Philips – Ascendit Deus Purcell – Hear my Prayer, O Lord Purcell – I was glad when they said unto me Stanford – Beati Quorum Via Stanford – Coelos Ascendit Hodie Tallis – Loquebantur Variis Linguis Tallis – O Nata Lux de Lumine
Thursday 31st May – lunchtime informal concert with tea and cake
Hear my Prayer, O Lord (Purcell)
Beati Quorum Via (Stanford)
O Clap your Hands (Gibbons)
Like as the Hart (Howells)
Locquebantur Variis Linguis (Tallis)
Lo the Full Final Sacrifice (Finzi)
Faire is the Heaven (Harris)
Amazing Grace (Todd)
My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land (Elgar)
The Mermaid (Whitworth)
Wade in the Water (Hogan)
Blue Moon (Blackwell)
Tea for Two (Gritton)
Encore: Poisoning Pigeons in the Park! (Tom Lehrer)
Saturday 16 December 2017 Bishop’s Palace, Wells
The Swan Singers gathered in the Chapel of the Bishop’s Palace and round the piano in the Long Gallery for festive music as part of the Christmas at the Palace festival. bishopspalace.org.uk