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J S Bach – St John Passion – Programme notes

7.30pm, Saturday 15 March 2008 – St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks

Poster from Cantate Choir's March 2008 concert - J S Bach's St John Passion

Soloists

Gillian KeithSoprano
Jamie LaingAlto
David SoarPilate
David StoutJesus
Mark BradburyEvangelist
Hazel BrooksLeader

Programme

J S Bach – St John Passion

Programme notes

Whereas the Honorable and Most Wise Council of this Town of Leipzig have engaged me as Cantor of the St. Thomas School… I shall set the boys a shining example… serve the school industriously… bring the music in both the principal churches of this town into good estate… faithfully instruct the boys not only in vocal but also in instrumental music… arrange the music so that it shall not last too long, and shall… not make an operatic impression, but rather incite the listeners to devotion… treat the boys in a friendly manner and with caution, but, in case they do not wish to obey, chastise them with moderation or report them to the proper place.

Thus wrote Johann Sebastian Bach when he was appointed Cantor of the St Thomas’ Kirche in Leipzig, a post he held for the rest of his life. His job involved teaching the boys, around 55 of them, Latin and music. They formed the body of the choirs in the two main churches and these he supplemented with university students and local musicians. He was required to write a new setting every week to be performed in one of the two churches and thus amassed a catalogue of well over 350 works for use in church that we know of and many more that are lost.

I wonder what you ever had to do in order to get a job? An interview, a presentation, nepotism? J S quickly knocked off a Passion according to St John’s Gospel, performed it in the church and, hey presto, the job was his! The Most Honourable and Wise Council clearly recognised genius when they heard it. Mind you, he was not without his critics. Many thought that this highly individual and dramatic setting was far too operatic for Lutheran tastes in 18th century Germany. It was written of an unidentified Passion performance that ‘All the people were thrown into the greatest bewilderment… An elderly widow of the nobility exclaimed: “God save us, my children! It’s just as if we were at a comic opera”.’

More recently, scholars have argued back and forth as to whether John or Johann or both were anti-semitic. Bach knew his theology and was devoutly Christian. He wrote everything ‘to the glory of God’ and the Johannes-Passion is no exception. His job was to be a ‘musical preacher’ to the people of Leipzig and he wrote with the heart of a faithful servant, who acknowledged that Jesus was ‘the Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world’. He understood that there were Rabbinical Jews and Christian Jews and his music reflects dramatically the difference. His great choruses describe the brutish and unnerved crowd, who would have Jesus crucified. His arias are the meditation and response to these dramatic events of betrayal and death. But it is the wondrous chorales that are the voice of the Lutheran church-goers, who must participate in and accept their part in the story as it unfolds:

Who hath thee now so stricken, My Saviour, and with torments. Such ill upon thee laid? I and my transgressions, Which to the grains are likened, Of sand beside the sea.

The Passion itself has many historical antecedents. The Chorus, like that of Ancient Greece, comments upon and observes the action. Medieval passion plays had three voices, one for the Narrator, one for Christ and one for everyone else! In time, this third voice was split into chorus and soloists to take named roles. The addition of basso continuo and developments in opera forms in the 16th century paved the way for the infiltration of instruments. It is Bach’s orchestrations that are as memorable as his vocal scoring in the Passions. His use of unusual, even archaic instruments, and pictorial effects, such as the extraordinary cello arpeggios to represent the cock crowing at Peter’s betrayal, gives rise to an aural landscape, which lives in the ear long after the music has stopped.

The final dimension, of which we must speak, is the intellectual grandeur of Bach’s work. He had an interest in numerology, which places faith in number patterns and their connections with things spiritual and corporeal. Part 2, which deals with the trial before Pilate and the Crucifixion, is a palindromic structure of identical choral fugues with different words (‘Wir haben ein Gesetz’ and ‘Lässest du diesen’). In between, in the midst of all this horrific scene of betrayal, horror, crowd hysteria and injustice, is a sublime chorale: Durch dein Gefängnis, Gottes Sohn, Muss uns die Freiheit kommen (Through your prison, Son of God, must our freedom come). The axis of symmetry for the whole work places as the very centre the narrative in which Jesus’ fate is sealed.

Sara Kemsley

David Soar

David sang with the choir during its Mozart Requiem & Schubert Mass in C concert in March 2006.

David Soar, Bass

David was born in Nottinghamshire and studied organ and singing at the Royal Academy of Music. After a period as a freelance organist, conductor and singer, including the post of Director of Music at All Saints Church, Kingston, he joined the chorus of Welsh National Opera. He also performed a number of roles for the company including Captain and Zaretsky/Eugene Onegin, Doctor Grenvil/La Traviata, Bertand in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (including a performance at the 2005 BBC Proms) and Sarastro/The Magic Flute. Other roles include Banquo/Macbeth, Don Alfonso/Cosi fan tutte, and Superintendant Budd/Albert Herring. In concert he has performed Messiah, Creation, Elijah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet, Bach’s Mass in B minor, St John Passion, Magnificat and numerous cantatas including the solo bass cantata Ich habe genug.

He is currently studying at the National Opera Studio where he is supported by a Sybil Tutton Award, the Kenneth Loveland Gift and the Nicholas John Trust. Future plans include Count Ceprano/Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park, before returning to WNO as an Associate Artist where roles will include Colline/La Boheme, Zuniga/Carmen and Bonze/Madam Butterfly.

Mark Bradbury

Mark sang the role of the Evangelist in Cantate Choir’s performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

Mark Bradbury, tenor

Mark Bradbury

Mark Bradbury was born in Cheshire and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He was a member of the Glyndebourne Chorus from 1999-2005 and made his solo Glyndebourne debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2001 singing Bartholomew The Last Supper (Birtwistle). Other operatic roles include Parpignol La Boheme (RAH Raymond Gubbay), Arbace Idomeneo, Acis Acis and Galatea, Monostatos Die Zauberflote. As a founder member of European Voices, under Sir Simon Rattle, he has sung in Berlin and Salzburg in Les Boreades (Rameaux), Peter Grimes (Britten), and Wonderful Town (Bernstein). Concert work has included Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (RAM for Classic FM), Mozart’s Mass in C (QEH), Bach’s St John Passion (St John’s Chapel, Cambridge).

Jamie Laing

Jamie sang for the Cantate Choir in its performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

Jamie Laing, countertenor

Jamie Laing

Rapidly establishing himself at the forefront of the new generation of countertenors, James Laing studied at Uppingham School and was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. He furthered his studies at the Royal College of Music with Robin Blaze. He was selected by Opera Now as amongst Who’s Hot for his performance as Nerone Agrippina at the London Handel Festival. His broadcast work includes Sports Personality of the Year for BBC TV, In Tune for Radio 3 and Midweek for Radio 4. A feature interview appeared in the January/February 2007 edition of Opera.

James Laing’s engagements have included Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Raphael Tobias and the Angel for ETO, Raphael Tobias and the Angel at the Young Vic and for the Oundle Festival, Refugee Flight for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Nerone Agrippina and John Brockes Passion at the London Handel Festival, Medoro Orlando for the Early Opera Company Pastor L’Orfeo for Opera North, Zephyrus Apollo and Hyacinthus for OTC, Dublin, and the Classical Opera Company, the B Minor Mass with the City of London Sinfonia in St Albans Abbey, the St John Passion at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Messiah with the Apollo Chamber Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra, the William Byrd Festival with Pacific Northwest Viols in the USA, The Scarlatti Dynasty at the Blumental International Music Festival, Israel, and Other Shakespearean Dreamers at The Liceu, Barcelona.

James Laing’s current engagements include Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coachman/Fox The Adventures of Pinocchio and Spirit Dido and Aeneas for Opera North, Endimione La Calisto (Cover) for the Royal Opera, London, Giuliano Eliogabalo for Grange Park Opera, the St Matthew Passion in Ripon Cathedral, Messiah at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, and Vivaldi Cantatas with the Ten Tors Orchestra.

David Stout

David sang the role of Jesus in Cantate Choir’s performance of Bach’s St John Passion in March 2008

David Stout

David Stout

David Stout studied Zoology at Durham University, sang with the choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge and studied on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was recipient of the John Hosier Scholarship, the Harold Rosenthal Award and the Principal’s Prize 2006. He continues to study with Rudolf Piernay.

His extensive oratorio repertoire includes many of the major works. Operatic roles with British Youth Opera, Grange Park Opera and other companies have lead to roles in The Magic Flute and Carmen for WNO.

Forthcoming engagements include Sea Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral with the LPO, The Creation in the Cadogan Hall, Cimarosa Il Maestro di capella with the Haffner Orchestra, Matthäus Passion with the Hallé and a recording of The Creation with Edward Higginbottom and the Choir of New College Oxford, alongside roles with WNO and ENO.

Christmas Cracker

7.30pm, Saturday 15 December 2007 – St Mary’s Platt, Nr Borough Green

Poster from Cantate Choir's December 2007 concert - Christmas Cracker

Soloist

Iestyn Evansorganist

Programme

Kenneth Leighton – Let all the world in every corner sing
H J Gauntlett – Once in royal David’s city
arr. Elizabeth Poston – The boar’s head carol
16th c French – Ding dong! merrily on high
arr. Vaughan Williams – O little town of Bethlehem
Francis Poulenc – Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
arr. David Willcocks – The first nowell
arr. John Rutter – Here we come a-wassailing
arr. David Willcocks – Deck the hall
arr. Reginald Jacques – Good King Wenceslas
Cecilia McDowall – Christus natus est

Programme notes

View programme notes

Christmas Cracker – Programme notes

7.30pm, Saturday 15 December 2007 – St Mary’s Platt, Nr Borough Green

Poster from Cantate Choir's December 2007 concert - Christmas Cracker

Soloist

Iestyn Evansorganist

Programme

Kenneth Leighton – Let all the world in every corner sing
H J Gauntlett – Once in royal David’s city
arr. Elizabeth Poston – The boar’s head carol
16th c French – Ding dong! merrily on high
arr. Vaughan Williams – O little town of Bethlehem
Francis Poulenc – Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
arr. David Willcocks – The first nowell
arr. John Rutter – Here we come a-wassailing
arr. David Willcocks – Deck the hall
arr. Reginald Jacques – Good King Wenceslas
Cecilia McDowall – Christus natus est

Programme notes

Let’s be honest! What most of us really want at Christmas is the same as we have enjoyed about every previous Christmas. However much we exclaim that this year we will not eat so much, buy so much or play the same games with Auntie Maud, we actually crave the timelessness of the traditions. The story of Christmas is 2,000 years old and the ways in which we celebrate and recall that are what bind us together as families and communities. They remind us that some important things are constant however much the world changes us or we change it. The peculiar feature of English carols, with their intriguing mix of English, Latin and French (sometimes in the same song!), also connects us to our Anglo-Saxon, Roman and Norman past.

That said, what we don’t expect is for people to save the wrappings and serve up this year’s pair of socks in last year’s paper! That is why in tonight’s concert nearly all the music will be familiar to you but wrapped up in settings which may be new or unfamiliar.

Celia McDowall demonstrates this beautifully for us in her Christmas Cantata, Christus Natus Est, which ends our programme. She takes five ancient carols in the three languages and sets them in new ways but not so strangely as to affront our sense of what’s fitting. She playfully links them with her own music, which remains true to the subtle mix of medieval and modern.

The least familiar may well be the four Christmas motets by Francis Poulenc. If you are not already a fan of this composer, become one immediately! Written in 1951-2 for unaccompanied choir, these are each a perfect miniature and typical of his style. Each one captures the mood of the traditional Latin texts with extraordinary precision and finesse. Imagine you are looking under a magnifying glass at the perfect gem settings in that amazing watch you have just unwrapped on Christmas morning. That is the music of Poulenc. Not a single note or dynamic or accent out of place. Understated so as not to be garish, subtle and rich enough to be breathtakingly beautiful.

A very happy Christmas to all our friends, especially to those who are kind enough to read my notes throughout our musical year!

Sara Kemsley

Rachmaninov Vespers – Programme notes

7.30pm, Saturday 30 June 2007 – St Mary’s Platt, Nr Borough Green

Poster for the Cantate Choir's June 2007 Concert - Rachmaninov Vespers

Soloists

Susie Winkworthcello
Costas Fotopoulospiano

Programme

Sergei Rachmaninov 1873-1943 – All-Night Vigil
Sergei Rachmaninov – Sonata for Cello & Piano in G Minor, Op. 19
Sergei Rachmaninov – Morceaux de Salon, Op. 2

Programme notes

Orthodoxy is first of all the love of beauty. Our entire life must be inspired by the vision of heavenly glory, and this contemplation is the essence of Orthodoxy… Russian asceticism aims at manifesting God’s kingdom on earth. It does not deny this world, but embraces it. (S N Bulgakov)
The Eastern Orthodox Church, which thrives today particularly in Russia, Bulgaria and Greece, is arguably the oldest form of Christianity, stemming as it does from the Greek writings of the early apostles. The Byzantine Rite developed as a result of the shift of the seat of imperialism from Rome to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine in 320AD. Of particular significance were the veneration of Mary as Mother of God, and the adoption of icons as symbols of Christ’s presence on earth in human form. The split with Rome was worsened in the 9th century, when the Roman Pope refused to recognise Photius as Patriarch of Constantinople, and again at the time of the crusades and the sacking of Constantinople in 1204.

Since that time, Western Orthodoxy has evolved into many forms, while the Eastern Orthodoxy has been largely preserved as it was. The services always involve music, always voices, never instruments.
In the late 19th century, there was a renaissance among Russian composers, who turned to setting liturgical texts as part of their search for national identity. Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov were major contributors but a significant school of Russian Church Music, centred in Moscow, developed. It was for this Moscow Synodal Choir that Rachmaninov wrote his setting of the All Night Vigil Op. 37.

Commonly, but incorrectly, known as The Vespers, this work is in fact a setting of three services for the canonical hours: Vespers, Matins and Prime. Vespers begins at sunset and reflects on the idea of Christ as the Light of the World. Movements 1-6 are from this section, and it ends with Gabriel’s salutation to Mary “Blessed art thou among women”. Matins (movements 7-14) meditates upon ideas of Christ in human form and ultimately the Resurrection, the most significant aspect of all in the Christian faith. This takes us to dawn and to Prime, the first hour of the day. Rachmaninov chooses to set just one text, the final triumphant movement, ‘To Thee, triumphant leader of triumphant hosts’. This is the eternity of Heaven.

Rachmaninov’s Vigil uses authentic znamenny or medieval chants in seven movements. In two, he prefers Greek chants and three are in the ‘Kiev’ style. Where he invented his own, he described them as ‘conscious counterfeits’, so closely did he keep to the traditional style. What he brings to the setting is often termed choral orchestration. This is almost a symphony, such are the demands made of the human voices: profoundly low bass parts, extreme ranges for other voices, huge dynamic and tonal ranges and many combinations of voices, which are frequently divided to form lush textures. Throughout, however, he preserves a simplicity in the harmonic, largely modal, language. There is no polyphony or fugal writing here, simply beautiful lines threading around the stepwise chants, whether for meditative introspection or praise and proclamation.

The choice of music for cello and piano by Rachmaninov as a counterpoise to this great choral masterwork is perfectly judged. The same yearning for a national identity is here in the use of simple folk melodies and brooding minor keys. There is the same breadth of expression in the sweeps of passion, sublime delicacy and exciting, rhythmic gesturing. The Cello Sonata was written shortly after his second piano concerto in 1901 and shares that same immediate appeal for the listener, as does the poignant and reminiscent Vocalise, familiar in many arrangements. The two pieces Op.2 (Prelude and Orientale) were written in 1892, just as he completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatoire. No mere palate-cleansers or padding here, as some programmes might provide. The intimacy and warmth of the cello tone allows us to ‘embrace this world’ between the choral contemplations upon higher things.

Sara Kemsley

Costas Fotopoulos

Costas played with the choir during its Rachmaninov Vespers concert in June 2007.

Costas Fotopoulos, Piano

Costas is based in London and works internationally as a concert and silent film pianist, and as a composer and arranger for film, the stage and the concert hall. He studied as a solo concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Juilliard School, and he has given many solo and chamber performances in this country as well as in Austria, Italy, America, Australia and New Zealand. He has recorded repertoire for BBC Radio, as well as the piano solo work, Cross hands, for a CD of music by British composer Nicholas Sackman, released on the Metier label.

Costas regularly provides live improvisations to silent films at the National Film Theatre and he has also accompanied films in New York, Warsaw and northern Italy. Recently, he provided a piano improvisation to sections of the Budget Speech, aired on BBC Radio 4.

For more information about Costas please visit his website.

Susie Winkworth

Susie played with the choir during its Rachmaninov Vespers concert in June 2007.

Susie Winkworth, Cello

Susie won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, where she made several acclaimed recordings with the R.A.M. Soloists and director Clio Gould, and performed as soloist with the R.A.M. Chamber Orchestra and Lord Menuhin. In a varied freelance career Susie works as guest principal with the Belmont Ensemble of London, New London Soloists Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and New London Sinfonia, and is principal ‘cello of ensemble flux, the European Orchestral Ensemble and the London Orchestra da Camera. She has toured worldwide with artistes from Kanye West to Katherine Jenkins, broadcasting on all major television channels and on film. As a chamber musician Susie performs across the UK, including work as soloist with the Philharmonia and concerts at Cheltenham, Deal, Swaledale and Woodfest (Cambridge) Festivals. She has given premieres of works by many composers including CDs of Melinda Maxwell and Michael Finnissy, and has worked as a lecturer on the MMus course at the Royal Academy of Music.

Susan Gilmore-Bailey

Susan sang with the choir during its Baroque Masterworks concert in March 2007.

Susan Gilmore Bailey, Soprano

Performing throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, soprano Susan Gilmour-Bailey enjoys a varied career of concert, oratorio, and opera performances. Her recent projects have included the role of Euridice in Monteverdi Orfeo at the Théâtre de Caen with Le Concert d’Astrée under Emmanuelle Haim and the soprano solos in the City of London Sinfonia/Royal Shakespeare Company production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Originally from Canada, Ms. Gilmour-Bailey currently resides in London where in 2002 she completed her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Academy of Music. Future projects include a staged production of Bach St John Passion at le Châtelet in Paris under Emmanuelle Haim and principal roles in the Fairy Queen and King Arthur for the Armonico Consort.

Baroque Masterworks

7.30pm, Saturday 3 March 2007 – St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks

Poster for Cantate Choir's March 2007 Concert - Baroque Masterworks

Soloists

Hazel Brooksleader
Donna Batemansoprano
Susan Gilmore-Baileysoprano
Julia Rileymezzo-soprano
Charne Rochfordtenor
James Gowerbass

Programme

Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 – Magnificat
Pachelbel – Canon in D (instrumental)
Henry Purcell 1659-1695 – Rejoice in the Lord alway
Henry Purcell - Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes
George Frederic Handel 1685-1759 – Dixit Dominus

Programme notes

View programme notes

Donna Bateman

Donna sang with the choir during its Baroque Masterworks concert in March 2007.

Donna Bateman, Soprano

Donna Bateman is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, which she attended on a scholarship and distinguished herself as an award-winning music student. She won the coveted National Federation of Music Societies Award, and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Prize. She was awarded a further scholarship to continue her studies on the Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music, where she graduated with Distinction and was awarded the G. Embley Memorial Prize.

Her opera roles include Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro and Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream for English Touring Opera, Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave, Gismonda Ottone, for the London Handel Society, Frasquita Carmen, Queen Erisbe L’Ormindo for the Sir William Walton Trust in Italy and Marzelline in Birmingham Opera Company’s Award-winning production of Fidelio directed by Graham Vick and broadcast live on BBC4. Donna returned to BOC to perform the role of Cunegonde Candide, after which she performed the role of Coralina in Il Toreador at the Batignano Opera Festival. Most recently she performed in Flashmob, broadcast live on BBC Television. Recent Operatic highlights this season include 1st Nymph and The Foreign Princess in Rusalka for Iford Arts, Pamina, Magic Flute for English Touring Opera, her debut for The Royal Opera House ROH2 as Miranda in The Gentle Giant, La Cuisinière in Le Rossignol for the CBSO at the Symphomy Hall, Birmingham, Pamina, The Magic Flute in Lisbon and Zerbinetta for Birmingham Opera Company directed by Graham Vick.

Donna Bateman’s acknowledged expertise in contemporary operatic repertoire has earned her four major engagements and three recent world premieres. These major roles include Kalypso Linen from Smyrna by Edward Rushton, Khin Myo The Piano Tuner by Nigel Osborne co-commissioned by Music Theatre Wales and the Royal Opera House, Miranda Rainland by Joseph Phibbs and Miss Pescado in Judith Weir’s Armida, which was specially commissioned for Channel 4 Television and was broadcast on Christmas day.

Donna regularly performs recitals and concerts in the UK and abroad. She was invited to sing at the opening ceremony of the World Athletics Championships, was a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, London, for the National Insurance Awards with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, while this season she has made regular appearances in concert with The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra. Her Oratorio engagements include St. Matthew Passion, In Terra Pax at St. John’s, Smith Square, Haydn’s St Cecilia Mass at Winchester Cathedral and Mozart’s Mass in C minor at Chichester Cathedral with the Orchestra of St John’s, conducted by John Lubbock.

Her most recent solo engagements include Mahler’s Symphony no.8 at The Symphony Hall, Birmingham, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus broadcast live on Radio 4 from St Martin in the fields, Carmina Burana with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra at the Albert Hall Nottingham and Bernstein’s Mass at The Barbican Hall London with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop and recorded live by Radio 3.

Charne Rochford

Charne sang with the choir during its Mozart Requiem & Schubert Mass in C concert in March 2006.

Charne Rochford, Tenor

Charne was born in London. He trained at the Royal Academy of Music as an undergraduate. He later rejoined the Academy on the Opera Course.

On the concert platform his repertoire includes Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini Messe di Gloria, Verdi Requiem and Britten St. Nicholas.

In 2002 he made his Royal Opera House debut in Graham Vick’s Die Meistersinger as an Apprentice. He covered Pinkerton and later portrayed Tamino for Clonter Opera. In 2004 he sang Puccini’s Rodolpho for the Dartington Festival, supported by the Foyle Foundation. Last summer he made his Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut as the 1st Armed Man/2nd Priest with the O.A.E.

Future engagements include covering Alfred in Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and 2nd Priest in a film of the Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Julia Riley

Julia sang with the choir during its Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in C concert in March 2006.

Julia Riley, Mezzo-soprano

Julia Riley was born in York and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She was then awarded an Entrance Scholarship for the Royal Academy Opera Course where she trained with Noelle Barker and Ingrid Surgenor. While at the Royal Academy Julia received rave reviews for her portrayal of Prince Charming in Massenet’s Cendrillon. “Julia Riley’s unforced and ample singing was the prime vocal pleasure.” Richard Fairman/The Financial Times/March 2005.

In December 2005 Julia made her Glyndebourne on Tour debut as Cherubino/Le nozze di Figaro. She recently made her Scottish Opera on Tour debut as Mezzo soloist with Essential Scottish Opera. In Glyndebourne Festival 2005 Julia performed Jonathan Dove’s mezzo song cycle All you who sleep tonight, with pianist Andrew Smith. This formed part of the Jerwood Chorus Scheme and was the first performance in the Glyndebourne Jerwood Studio.

Other opera roles include Bridesmaid/Le nozze di Figaro/Glyndebourne on Tour, Prince Charming/Massenet/Royal Academy Opera, Ino/Handel/British Youth Opera, Medoro/Handel/Dartington, Tisbe/Rossini/Opera East.

Oratorio and concert performances include Christmas Oratorio/St James’ Piccadilly/English Baroque Orchestra, B Minor Mass/London Bach Festival, Mozart/Requiem/St-Martin-In-The-Field, In the beginning/Copland/Southwark Cathedral, and Les nuits d’été/Berlioz/Penzance Orchestral Society. Future plans include understudying Dorabella in the 2006 Glyndebourne Festival.

Baroque Masterworks – Programme notes

7.30pm, Saturday 3 March 2007 – St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks

Poster for Cantate Choir's March 2007 Concert - Baroque Masterworks

Soloists

Hazel Brooksleader
Donna Batemansoprano
Susan Gilmore-Baileysoprano
Julia Rileymezzo-soprano
Charne Rochfordtenor
James Gowerbass

Programme

Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 – Magnificat
Pachelbel – Canon in D (instrumental)
Henry Purcell 1659-1695 – Rejoice in the Lord alway
Henry Purcell - Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes
George Frederic Handel 1685-1759 – Dixit Dominus

Programme notes

Johann Mattheson said in 1713: In these times, whoever wishes to be eminent in music goes to England. In Italy and France there is something to be heard and learned; in England something to be earned.

These were turbulent but exciting times: the age of empire, when fortunes were to be made at home and abroad. In the hundred years between the birth of Henry Purcell and the death of George Frederic Handel, the Cromwellian Parliament gave way and the monarchy was restored. Some seven or eight monarchs (it depends on how many you consider williamandmary to be) held sway. Purcell’s London was one of the most musically cosmopolitan European cities in the late seventeenth century. During the period of the Commonwealth, music had been pared down to its essentials, dancing prohibited and most musicians became unemployed. When Charles II was restored to the throne, he set about re-igniting the pleasure centres of the nation. Both Purcell and Handel did well from royal patronage in church and theatre alike.

Vivaldi (1678-1741) was working in that other great cultural and commercial city, Venice, which though past its greatest days, still had much to offer and a rich cultural heritage to boast. Vivaldi represented progressive Italian musical thought of his day. His impact was immediate but he died almost totally forgotten in 1741. All his works were composed for definite occasions, many, like the Magnificat, performed by the renowned girls of the Orphanage de la Pieta. His contribution was that vital link in the transition from late Baroque to early Classical style, choosing a simpler harmonic code and clarity of form and structure over ornate polyphonic textures.

The Baroque period was the great age of instrumental music, when the instrument was freed from the position of slave accompanist to the human voice. This is the time of the great violin builders and the birth of the orchestra as we know it. By the end of the seventeenth century there is a noted difference between orchestral music and chamber music. It is fitting that we have a professional orchestra playing on period instruments at the pitch which would have been played in Handel’s own performances, approximately a semitone lower than modern pitch. The Canon in D is sumptuous baroque polyphony for strings by the ‘one-hit wonder’ Johann Pachelbel. Only the cellists dread it. 54 repetitions of the same eight-note ground bass. YouTube fans (and cellists) will enjoy a video called Pachelbel Rant on the subject of this piece (http://www.youtube.com/ just to show how modern we are in Cantate!)

Purcell (1659-1695) was the first English musical genius after William Byrd and last great composer in this land before the twentieth century. He was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal in 1682 and his verse anthems date between then and 1685. Charles II had ordered the use of instrumental sections in church music and Purcell rose to the challenge with a string of beautiful anthems (English) and motets (Latin). He also has a possibly unique body of funeral music for monarchs to his credit (see above).

Handel (1685-1759) was truly cosmopolitan, combining German seriousness, Italian suavity and French grandeur. These qualities matured in England, which was the centre for internationalism with a choral tradition which made his oratorios possible, when the popularity of Italian opera began to wane. A great orchestral innovator, he was noted for his imaginative use of instrumental colour, for word painting and dramatic effect. Dixit Dominus dates from his time in Italy and is a thunderbolt of a piece from a young and confident composer. Acknowledged as one of the great composers for chorus, he handles the texture and voice range in masterful fashion. He is not afraid to go after the poetic effect. Listen out for Conquassabit capita in terra multorum in No.6 of Dixit Dominus, when the Lord shatters the heads of the multitude, literally pounding them into the ground. Handel was internationally renowned in his own lifetime and his fame was never eclipsed.

Sara Kemsley

Lonnie Christophers

Lonnie read during the choir’s Remember! concert in November 2006.

Lonnie Christophers, Orator

Lonnie is a graduate in Music from Royal Holloway, University of London and is at present, Head of Drama at The Granville School in Sevenoaks. She has acted in many leading roles for both Stag Theatre Company and Shoreham Village Players including Anna King & I; Alice Killing of Sister George; Hermione Winter’s Tale; Lady Macbeth Macbeth; Judith Bliss Hay Fever; Mrs Erlynne Lady Windemere’s Fan.

With her daughter, Antonia, she has formed Ashes Youth Theatre Company and she also coaches students preparing for LAMDA examinations and for audition for NYT.

James Wallace

James read during the choir’s Remember! concert in November 2006.

James Wallace, Orator

James Wallace is a local businessman who, when time allows, treads the boards with the Shoreham Village Players. He has acted professionally; three summer seasons with the Kent Rep at Hever Castle, sundry outings on the London fringe fringe and the odd commercial and film (very odd in some cases, but all done in the best possible taste!).

Remember! – Programme notes

7.30pm, Saturday 11 November 2006 – St Mary’s Kippington

Poster from Cantate Choir's Remember! concert in November 2006

Staged on Armistice Day November 11 at St Mary’s Church, Kippington Road, Sevenoaks on Saturday 11 November 2006. For this special day the choir devised a programme titled Remember!, comprising remembrances and recollections in music and verse.

Soloists

Iestyn Evansorganist
Nimrod Borensteincomposer
James Wallacereader
Lonnie Christophersreader

Programme

Karl Jenkins’ – The Armed Man
Samuel Barber’s – Adagio for Strings
Vaughan Williams’ – Greensleeves
Elgar’s – Nimrod
Nimrod Borenstein’s – If I rise
Poems by Wilfred Owen, Christina Rossetti and Tennyson

Programme notes

The Armed Man must be feared; Everywhere it has been decreed
That everyman should arm himself, With an iron coat of mail.

Anon, c1450-1463

The fifteenth-century French song, L’homme armé, gave rise to a tradition of Armed Man masses still alive today. The idea that the armed man must be feared seemed as painfully relevant in the twentieth century as in the late Middle Ages. Karl Jenkins, commissioned to write a Mass for Peace, saw an opportunity to look ahead with hope and commitment to a more peaceful millennium. But even as he was writing it, the tragedy of Kosovo unfolded. The first CD was released, ironically, on September 10th 2001. The complete mass includes words from the Koran, British poets and the Hindu Mahabharata. Musical styles as diverse as the words sit fairly comfortably together. The Choral Suite consists of the Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei from the Mass and a final Hymn before Action by Rudyard Kipling. We are interspersing these choral movements among the poems and music of our concert tonight, which invites us all to remember, to be grateful and to have hope.

The first two-minute silence was held on November 11th 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am. Since the so-called ‘war to end all wars’, and during a century of further conflict, this date has become the nearest we have in this country to a National Day. It has been said that all post-war memorials feature two motifs – ‘war as both tragically, unendurably sad and noble and uplifting’. Is there some explanation here of why the very island character, explored in our last concert, also means that remembrance of war, resistance to invasion and the heroism of struggle are what seem to bind us together as a nation when other ideals do not? Certainly, English-language composers do ‘unendurably sad and noble and uplifting’ extremely well.

The first half of the programme deals with the nostalgia and pity of war. Greensleeves is an old song, thought to be penned by Henry VIII. It looks back wistfully at the loved one, who is out of reach. ‘I have both waged life and land, your love and goodwill for to have’. This arrangement by Ralph Vaughan Williams is sumptuous and yearning.

Samuel Barber wrote his Adagio for Strings in 1936, apparently inspired by the idea of a stream growing in size to a full river. However, it quickly became an anthem of mourning, especially in this choral version setting the words of the Agnus Dei. ‘Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have pity on us, grant us peace.’

John Ireland carefully crafted his short anthem Greater Love hath no Man with words from no less than seven sections from five books of the Bible: Song of Solomon 8, St John 15, 1 Peter 2, 1 Corinthians 6, Romans 12. Written in 1912, it must have provided enormous comfort as more and more young men set off abroad ‘for King and Country’. Over one million never returned.

Folk songs took on a particular importance in the early part of the century. Many composers set about collecting and setting down the large canon of songs from all around the British Isles. Popular songs from the music halls also seemed more stirring than a rather lack-lustre National Anthem. Little wonder that soldiers and their girls felt more moved and patriotic when singing a rousing chorus of ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ or ‘D’ye ken John Peel’. Our representative sample is a wordless setting of the Londonderry Air by Percy Grainger.

Nimrod Borenstein is an Israeli-born composer who lives and trained in Britain. His works are popularly performed here and abroad and are considered to belong to a New Consonant Music. Composers such as Steve Reich and Michael Nyman moved away from the former complexity of ‘modern music’ for simpler styles that performers and audiences could understand. This setting of Psalm 139 explores the idea that wherever we go the hand of God will be there to guide us. Even if darkness surrounds us it will be as the light and ‘the night will shine like the day’. The piece is broadly tonal although different voice parts can be in different keys simultaneously. For much of the setting, the sopranos provide the melodic and lyrical line, while the lower voices build shifting textures from the sometimes disjunct words. He also makes use of words for rhythmic motion rather than meaning, however the overall journey from darkness to light is unmistakeable.

Nimrod is the ninth of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Nimrod the mighty Hunter of the Old Testament stands here for A J Jaeger, of the Novello publishing company (Jaeger means huntsman in German). Jaeger mused to Elgar that no-one could match the slow tempi of Beethoven’s great slow movements, Elgar set out to prove him wrong. With its ever rising repetitions and painfully falling intervals of the seventh, the piece epitomises ‘unendurably sad and noble and uplifting’ and has come to be a piece associated with state mourning, much as Barber’s Adagio has in America.

Herbert Howells lived for ninety years but felt himself a composer out of his times. His style harks back to that exceptional period of English choral music, to Tallis and Weelkes, to the subtle swings of minor to major, to unexpected false relations resolving to glorious concordance. In fact the modal swings between major and minor are intrinsic to the traditional English folksong and the musical revival of the twentieth century, thus making Howells very much a man of his times. He described his music as full of the ‘agony and the ecstasy’ and our final anthem from Psalm 42 certainly combines these two ideas. ‘My tears have been my meat day and night… where is now thy God?… my soul is athirst for God… when shall I come before the presence of God?’

Sara Kemsley

Remember!

7.30pm, Saturday 11 November 2006 – St Mary’s Kippington

Poster from Cantate Choir's Remember! concert in November 2006

Staged on Armistice Day November 11 at St Mary’s Church, Kippington Road, Sevenoaks on Saturday 11 November 2006. For this special day the choir devised a programme titled Remember!, comprising remembrances and recollections in music and verse.

Soloists

Iestyn Evansorganist
Nimrod Borensteincomposer
James Wallacereader
Lonnie Christophersreader

Programme

Karl Jenkins’ – The Armed Man
Samuel Barber’s – Adagio for Strings
Vaughan Williams’ – Greensleeves
Elgar’s – Nimrod
Nimrod Borenstein’s – If I rise
Poems by Wilfred Owen, Christina Rossetti and Tennyson

Programme notes

View programme notes

Michael Higgins

Michael regularly performs with the Cantate Choir.

Michael Higgins, Piano

Michael Higgins studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, later specialising in piano accompaniment and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Julius Drake and Iain Ledingham. He has performed in master classes given by Clifford Benson, Thomas Hampson, Rudolf Jansen, Bryce Morrison and Udo Reinemann. Michael also studied organ with Andrew Fletcher and was Organ Scholar at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Chad, Birmingham.

Abroad, Michael has performed with singers and instrumentalists in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Australia and New Zealand. He performs regularly throughout the United Kingdom and has worked with the National Youth Choirs and National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Midland Festival Chorus, Royal Academy Opera and the Royal Ballet School. In the past year Michael has made a successful return visit to New Zealand to lead workshops for choral accompanists by invitation of the New Zealand Choral Federation.

As a composer, he has answered a number of commissions, including songs for a set of educational books published in Singapore, and many of his choral and organ works are published worldwide by Kevin Mayhew Publishers.

Michael was awarded the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust Scholarship for 2005-06 and has recently completed his studies with Kálmán Dráfi at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest.

Poetry in Music

7.30pm, Saturday 10 June 2006 – St Mary’s Platt, Borough Green

Poster from Cantate Choir's June 2006 concert - Poetry in Music

Soloist

Michael Higginspiano

Programme

Mathias – Shakespeare Songs
Mendelssohn – Songs without Words – Nos. 1, 9, 10
Vaughan Williams – Toward the Unknown Region
Finzi – Seven Poems of Robert Bridges
Chopin – Waltz in A flat major, Opus 34 No. 1
Elgar – From the Bavarian Highlands

Programme notes

View programme notes

Poetry in Music – Programme Notes

7.30pm, Saturday 10 June 2006 – St Mary’s Platt, Borough Green

Poster from Cantate Choir's June 2006 concert - Poetry in Music

Soloist

Michael Higginspiano

Programme

Mathias – Shakespeare Songs
Mendelssohn – Songs without Words – Nos. 1, 9, 10
Vaughan Williams – Toward the Unknown Region
Finzi – Seven Poems of Robert Bridges
Chopin – Waltz in A flat major, Opus 34 No. 1
Elgar – From the Bavarian Highlands

Programme notes

There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require. Sir Edward Elgar

Of all the arts, we have excelled in literature. Our flexible language wants to persuade and enlighten, to uplift and censure. There is an unbroken tradition of great English writers from medieval times to modern day. No other country can boast the heights of the King James Bible or Shakespeare and it is no coincidence that they go with you to your desert island.

In music and the visual arts however, we have some peaks and troughs. From the death of Henry Purcell to the birth of Edward Elgar, we were almost silent. Until Turner, Constable and Blake got to work, we were a blank canvas. The work of our great Tudor composers was generally less cluttered and ornamented than our southern European counterparts. English and Dutch painters have generally reflected the cooler, gentler climate and landscape, which we still recognise today. Perhaps this love of our natural world around us, a land without extremes, meant that neither the contrived formality of Classicism nor the bolder temperament of Romanticism appealed to our northern phlegm. Or perhaps we were just too busy taking over the world!

The period from the late nineteenth century through the major part of the twentieth is therefore seen as the English Musical Renaissance: Standford, Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams, Delius, Finzi, Bantock, Bax, Quilter, Ireland, Tippett, Walton, Britten, Arnold, Bliss, Bridge, Warlock, Mathias… All of a sudden, the pantheon seems more extensive than anything the French, Germans or Italians have to offer! And yet, many of our finest composers were, and indeed still are, slow to be performed regularly abroad. Why? Most probably because each of them reflects, and reflects upon, that uniquely island character, which sets us apart in so many things.

They choose the wistful, modal qualities of British folksong, images of our rolling hills and gentle streams, our birdsong and our freedoms. They turn naturally to the poetry of our English heritage, with its easy rhythms and gentle consonants. Do they never get worked up? Oh yes, when it comes to notions of justice, pride and the reaching of goals, the grandeur comes through. And that renowned English wit can be found a-plenty in satirical dance forms and quipping rhythms.

So this is the fertile soil from which our concert springs.

William Mathias, as it happens, was Welsh. Born in Dyfed in 1934, he studied in Wales and London, worked mostly in Bangor but regularly involved himself in the great choral festivals which gave birth to so much great work.

He set the eight songs from Shakespeare plays for mixed choir and piano for the third Cardiff Festival of Choirs in 1979. Although all different in origin, he says he saw them “as a linked set like a song cycle. This concept is emphasised by the fact that the last song recalls some of the music of the first; both are winter poems. There is also a similarity of feeling between the settings of Full Fathom Five and Dirge from Cymbeline. No.3 is for men only and proceeds immediately to Sigh no more Ladies for women’s voices only. The piano part is integral to the whole helping to emphasis the different moods. It is particularly helpful in highlighting Shakespeare’s love of bell sounds to indicate the passage of time and the transience of human life.”

Vaughan Williams frequently turned to the poetry of the American Walt Whitman as did so many English composers. Unlike so much poetry of the time which relied on symbolism, allegory and meditation, Whitman’s poetry exalted the body and the material world. He praised nature and the individual human’s role in it. He does not diminish the role of the mind or spirit but sees both mind and body as worthy of praise. Toward the Unknown Region was composed in 1906 using text from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass anthology. It is the quest of the mind to be accompanied by the soul as it leaves the known, temporal world for that unknown region ‘when the ties loosen, all but the ties eternal, time and space, nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds bounding us.’

Gerald Finzi wrote mostly works for voice or chorus but his clarinet and cello concertos are well-loved also. His settings of Thomas Hardy poems are inspired. Many of the settings for mixed choir of poems by Robert Bridges are well-known individually. Tonight we perform the full set as intended. Each song sets a subtle mood from the text and makes full use of the natural rhythms of the words in defining the musical language. Several of the songs are through-composed, that is to say, they take their shape from the ongoing narrative of the text, but even in the songs with a verse structure, Finzi alters the repetitions each time to give a sense of travel through the poem.

From the Bavarian Highlands by Edward Elgar shows the good-humoured family man in fine form and makes a light-hearted finale. He and his wife Alice loved holidays in Southern Bavaria, where they frequently went with their circle of friends, many of whom found their way into his Enigma Variations. On their return, Alice wrote some folksongs in the style of Bavarian ones she had heard, which her husband amiably set with appropriately southern German music. This is the equivalent of going through someone’s holiday photo album but a great deal more entertaining.

Sara Kemsley

Mozart – Requiem & Schubert – Mass in C – Programme Notes

7.30pm, Saturday 11 March 2006 – St Nicholas’ Church, Sevenoaks

Poster from Cantate Choir's March 2006 concert

Soloists

Gillian Keithsoprano
Julia Rileymezzo-soprano
Charne Rochfordtenor
David Soarbass
Hazel Brooksleader

Programme

Mozart – Requiem
Schubert – Mass in C

Programme notes

The pairing of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem with Franz Schubert’s fourth Mass ought to be a marriage of great works by two great composers. Scholars have argued, and continue to do so, over whether Mozart’s final work was born great or had greatness thrust upon it by the romantic and mysterious circumstances surrounding its genesis. Schubert, by his own admission, knew that his choral works lacked the masterstrokes of his illustrious forbears and decided to have lessons in counterpoint very late in life. What is not in doubt is that both works have rightly held a firm place in the hearts of performers and audiences for around 200 years.

The two composers had much in common. Both were violinists and pianists of prodigious talent. Both were dominated by their fathers. Both remained poor for much of their lives, struggling for positions which would provide money and status. Both died in their early thirties of illnesses which still arouse some debate. Both left behind an enormous body of work, as if they knew that time was short. Coincidentally, Antonio Salieri was Schubert’s teacher and Mozart’s archrival, holding as he did the coveted position of court composer to Emperor Josef in Vienna.

More importantly, both inhabited a musical paradise, although they might not have thought so at the time. Anton Schindler, writing in 1840, described turn-of-the-century Vienna: ‘There was a preference for music without ostentation – music which, whether performed by four voices or four hundred, would work magic on the listener, cultivating his mind and senses, ennobling his emotions… and yet this was not a time of philosophical sophistication; it was rather a period of uninhibited enjoyment, whose purity lasted well into the first decade of our century.’

Schubert’s Mass in C, D452, was written in 1816. It has a very light orchestration with no violas and optional clarinets and trumpets, giving the whole a light and airy texture. Unusually, the Kyrie belongs primarily to the four soloists, with chorus merely providing punctuation and emphasis. The light classical style is even more pronounced in the Gloria. The homophonic choral writing is underscored by a ‘Mannheim skyrocket’, the rapidly rising scale passage found so commonly in the early symphonic works of the Mannheim school. This musical style possessed an overwhelming energy, exuberance and almost uncontainable excitement. This is Schubert’s style here too some fifty years later.

The Credo, often the most solemn section of the Mass, is almost a dance. The triple time measure at first seems at odds with the metre of the words but what joy it brings to the words ‘creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible’. Contrast this with the next section, which speaks of the spirit made carnate, and crucifixion, where the harmonic language moves forward in time to wring full sentiment before returning to the joyful, chordal C major declaration that ‘on the third day he was resurrected and ascended into heaven.’

A rather thoughtful start to the Sanctus is another surprise but the solo soprano quickly dispels any doubt with her jubilant ‘Osanna in excelsis’. Schubert is best known for his tunes and so allows the soloist full measure in the Benedictus, which commonly in masses is in a slow duple time as here. This melody is perhaps unusual in its athleticism however. The solo voice has to navigate tricky rising and falling jumps without the least sign of strain or risk spoiling the calm for ‘blessed are they that go in the way of the Lord’. This is followed by a sinuous setting of the Agnus Dei and a final dance-like and precise ‘Dona nobis pacem’ as if to say that eternal bliss is a foregone conclusion.

Surely everyone recognises the opening of the Requiem in D minor K 626 of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? The sombre basset horns over the plodding, brooding bass chords seem inseparable from our memory of the film Amadeus and all the myths surrounding this final work of the genius, cut down in 1791 in his 35th year. Yes, Mozart was troubled by the anonymous commissioner of the piece. Yes, as he approached death himself, he felt he was writing his own requiem. Yes, he died with the manuscript on his bed trying to give instructions about its completion. It is also true that several lesser composers had a hand in completing what he had started and who continue to this day. The version we perform tonight is the reworking by Beyer in 1983 to correct some of Mozart’s pupil Süssmayr’s worst errors.

But forget all of that. Whoever wrote what, when and why, this is a glorious and idiosyncratic work, by turns sumptuous and terrifyingly stark. It should be indulged, not analysed. We should subject ourselves both to the power and majesty of the music and the startling message of the catholic rite: through the pains and rage of death to eternal light, through tears and death’s dark vale to eternal rest, from prayers and supplications to the acknowledgement that the Lord will deliver us ‘as once promised to Abraham and his seed forever’.

Sara Kemsley

Hilmar Hauer

Hilmar will perform with the choir at it’s Christmas with Cantate concert in December 2005.

Hilmar Hauer comes from Dortmund, Germany and studied trumpet with Prof. Adolf Weresch at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe, Germany. Work experience include performances with the Linden Baroque Orchestra (on natural trumpet)

Amadeus Orchestra (based in Manchester), National Musicians Symphony Orchestra (NMSO), London and Live performances of concertos by Haydn, Hummel, Neruda, Arutiunian,, Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach and others. Recent performances include Jan Koetsier, Concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra. Between 1996-1999 he performed regularly with the Badische Staatskapelle (orchestra of the opera in Karlsruhe) and then with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz. He was also principal trumpet of the Heeresmusikkorps Stuttgart)

Claude Lamon

Claude will perform with the choir at the Christmas with Cantate concert in December 2005.

Trumpeter Claude Lamon was born in South Africa, where he has performed with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra. Through his work, Claude became involved with music education in local townships, recognising the importance of nuturing musical skills and creativity. A french national, Claude obtained a Prix de Trompette et Musique de Chambre, studying under international soloist Pierre Dutot. In Germany, he performed with the Orchestra at the Bayreuth Festival.

Moving to the UK in 2002, Claude became particularly involved with chamber music, appearing as a soloist with soprano Sara Egan and Suzanne Anderson in performances of Bach’s Cantata 51. Enjoying work with new composers, including Oxford’s John Caldwell, Claude is currently working on repertoire for trumpet and voice. Other interests include promoting French music, and providing a platform for South African composers and musicians, a passion reflected in the repertoire and artists of Voce Ensemble.

Recent appearances include soloist performances in Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto and Handel’s Suite in D, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Glasgow’s Royal Academy of Music and Dance. Bringing his expertise to the local community, Claude teaches trumpet at schools in the Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells areas, and coaches the Lydian Orchestra, West Kent’s premiere youth orchestra.

Christmas with Cantate

7.30pm, Saturday 10 December 2005 – Church of St Mary Platt, Nr Borough Green

Poster from Cantate Choir's December 2005 concert - Christmas with Cantate

Soloists

Claude Lamontrumpet
Hilmar Hauertrumpet
Iestyn Evansorgan

Programme

J S Bach – Christians be joyful
Once in Royal David’s City
Anon – There is no Rose
Leuner – The shepherds’ cradle song
Francesco Manfredini – Concerto for two trumpets
Antonin Tucapsky – Koleda
German traditional – In dulci jubilo
It came upon a midnight clear
English traditional – Rejoice and be merry
Polish traditional – Star in the South
Hark the Herald angels sing
Deck the hall
O Tannenbaum
We wish you a merry Christmas