Summer 2022 concert


St. Mary’s Church, Platt

Sprig of Thyme

Conductor Robin Walker

We were delighted to perform our programme of American and English folk songs with music by Vaughan Williams, Rutter, Copland and Frahm.

We conjured a world of ballads and love songs where you could walk country lanes and sail the seven seas; find many wonders and curiosities – from American bandicoots to ghostly lovers – and hear the calls of the Ohio river boatmen and listen to the philosophies of the Miller of Dee.

In the 150th anniversary year of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth we sung Five English Folk Songs, together with John Rutter’s Sprig of Thyme; together these represent a lovely collection of songs, some recognisable, others less well-known.

Aaron Copland’s sound world is unmistakable in his settings of old American songs, whether he is reworking a minstrel song that recalls America’s majestic rivers or updating a lively farmyard nonsense song.

We were particularly excited to present the world premiere of Late-Night Lyrics by Frederick Frahm including a setting of the poem by Emily Dickinson, ‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’. Late-Night Lyrics is a set of three sophisticated and subtle songs on three very different themes.

At times infectious, energetic tunes, at others wistful storytelling, these songs were wide ranging, bringing a host of characters (and animals!) to life. Folk songs tell us many things about beauty and loss, nature and the rhythms of life; this proved to be a perfect selection for a summer’s evening to celebrate the many stories they tell.