1) I wasn’t singing in it (so I got to listen!)
2) It was a programme entirely made of up of some of my favourite music by Benjamin Britten (my fave composer)
3) Ex Cathedra sang really well
4) Town Hall works really well for this kind of music
The concert opened with A Ceremony of Carols – a great piece just for SSA and Harp. The Ex Cathedra women folk (and a few male altos) were joined by a host of young singers from the Ex Cathedra Academy of Vocal Music. What an opportunity for those young singers! I remember doing just that as a young singer alongside Ex Cathedra in Coventry Cathedral – if the memory of that performance lasts with them like it did me – it will prove to be a lifelong inspiration.
A Boy was Born was great too and the gallery singers did a great job in a difficult role. Anyone who criticises Britten for not writing complex symphonies should listen to this piece and try to work out how he came up with such amazing textures!
Finally – St Nicolas – and yes I was crying when the pickled boys came back to life! [if you don’t know the piece – go and see it!]