Poster for Cantate Choir's November 2022 20th Anniversary concert of Poulenc's Gloria

We performed a selection of music – Mendelssohn’s Lauda Sion, Magnussen’s beautiful setting of the Shakespeare lyric Fear No More, Vierne’s Les Angelus (for soprano solo and organ) and Poulenc’s Gloria; this last piece we performed to celebrate our twentieth anniversary – it was one of the pieces we performed for our first concert.

We were delighted to be joined by Soprano Gwen Martin and Organist Charles Andrews. Robin Walker, our director of music, conducted

Poulenc’s Gloria, completed in 1960, is one of his best-known works. It moves through many moods from jocular to mysterious, from melodious to joyous – sparkling with energy and excitement even its quieter more intricate moments and most especially in its glorious fanfares. The complex organ part evokes the brilliance and drama of a full orchestra. We enjoyed performing this 20 years ago and were delighted to return to it again to celebrate our anniversary.

First performed in 1846, though not published until after Mendelssohn’s death, Lauda Sion was composed to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Corpus Christi. It is celebratory and majestic, most often described as adopting a melodious Italianate style, and reaches a dramatic climax before a calm conclusion in the final movement.

Jonas Magnussen’s setting of the Shakespeare’s song from Cymbeline – Fear no More the Heat ‘o the Sun – simply stirs with soulful beauty.

Gwen Martin and Robin Walker performed Vierne’s Les Angelus, a work of wonderful clarity, at times intense, at others serene, perfect for in St Martin’s church.