Come and join Southern Voices as we sing a Baroque Christmas in St Cross on 17 December!
This year our theme is baroque music with some fantastic carols and composers, ranging from Praetorius and Scheidt through to Bouzignac to Sweelink, via Rutter and Allain (those two not quite so baroque). And as usual, some more secular fare with Winter Wonderland and 12 days of Christmas (the latter hopefully not b-roke).
As ever, the concert will be directed by Katherine Dienes-Williams with Paul Provost at the organ.
Tickets: £16 (Concessions £14; children 17 and under, £5). and are available online and from the Winchester Cathedral Box Office (01962 857275).
Care of a recent visit to Margot, we finally got to see Rebecca’s appearance in the 1989 Patches Annual.
a, b,c or d?!
With due thanks to Margot, we had a brief taste of the life of a retired Brit living in Spain. As anywhere, it seems the more you put in the more you get out, and it was good to get a sense of the real Spain (and some of her issues) from locals we met. Infrastructure much better than the last time we visited, and a new government about to be sworn in (albeit with the EU demanding yet more cuts to public spending). However, if what you want is sun and cheap living, there appear to be worse places to live.
Slightly surreal to temporarily join the local choir to practice parts of the Messiah, but as us singers know, there is nothing like choral music for bringing people together.
Beer and tapas in Almoradi
Hot springs at Archena, near Murcia
Hot springs at Archena, near Murcia
Marina at Torrevieja
Post market and post lunch at La Marina
Preferring to celebrate the latest birthday on Friday rather than Monday, Rebecca and I took time to visit the Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery. A quick lesson learned about reading the small print and the exhibition title (‘Beyond Caravaggio’ involved lots of friends and acquaintances, with rather less of the master on show than expected). Of those there, the paintings from Caravaggio himself seemed to far outshine his contemporaries – but the exhibition is certainly worth a visit. We learned about light and dark, story-telling, metaphors and death. The evening lecture from Andrew Graham-Dixon was a revelation and revealed many dark secrets about the painter. The sandwich came from the excellent lunch at Le Gavroche – the set business lunch is really quite exceptional and recommended.
Fourth plinth is called ‘Really good’
Christmas in Selfridges
Mrs A at Le Gavroche – Oct 2016
Mrs A outside Le Gavroche September 2014
Join Southern Voices for our next concert in Winchester Cathedral Quire on Friday 4 November for a choral collection on the theme of angels.
Angels and archangels have inspired some fine music through the ages, and this concert will includes examples from the 15th and 16th centuries (Isaac, Palestrina), the 17th and 18th (Dering, Borthiansky) and the 20th (Chesnokov, Tippett, Tavener, Drayton) as well as examples from notable current composers (Patrick Hawes, David Hamilton). In a first for Southern Voices, we will be singing the Hamilton and one of the pieces by Patrick Hawes ‘in the round’ to get an ethereal effect as befits the music!
The choir will be directed as usual by our musical director Katherine Dienes-Williams, who will be joined by Paul Provost at the organ and cello, and daughter Hannah Dienes-Williams on the violin.
Tickets are on sale at the Cathedral Box office. £16 full price, concessions £14 and children 16 and under £5. It will be a great concert and we would love to see you there!
The programme includes:
Factum est silentium – Richard Dering
Ige Herouvimy – Bortniansky
Prayer to a guardian angel – Patrick Hawes (cello – Paul Provost)
Angelus Domini – Patrick Hawes
St. Bride, assisted by angels – Judith Bingham (organ)
Angelus Domini – Palestrina
Angeli, archangeli – Heinrich Isaacs
Plebs angelica – Michael Tippett
How like an angel – Paul Drayton
Angels – John Tavener
Les anges – Olivier Messiaen (organ)
Factum est silentium – Patrick Hawes (violin – Hannah Dienes-Williams)
Ige Herouvimy – Chesnokov
Angele Dei – David Hamilton
A few words on recent visits to Brittany and Somerset for our ‘annuals’ this year. Together as a family for a week, then a follow-up week for ‘Er and me in case we needed it. In the event, and even with another rural retreat in France, all was well and a second complete holiday following immediately on the tail of the first was a complete bonus. Highly recommended. Rural locations in Brittany and Somerset meant visits to out-of-the-way locations that would not normally expect a visit – such as Brest, Lesneven or Kingsbury Episcopi – each with its own attractions. But we also went to the more popular attractions including Mont St Michel, Rennes, Sparkford and Yeovilton.
Ferry – off to France
Mont St Michel
Restaurant La Coniche
Aston Martin Lagonda – Sparkford
Concorde 002 – amazing from any angle
The secret of a successful holiday (with offspring)
What to do on a bank holiday Monday at the end of May? Highclere Castle, of course. After a quick driving lesson for Livi (flawless hill start btw), it was off to Highclere sneaking in the back way. Long gone are the pre-Downton weekly trips on a Sunday afternoon, care of a nominal annual membership fee. However, the castle was empty enough actually go inside for a change, the tea shop was as welcoming as ever, and the grass still soft enough for headstands. All rounded off with a trip up Beacon Hill.
First there were three
Then there were two
And then just one…