Tag Archives: winchester cathedral

Songs and Sonnets of Shakespeare – Winchester Cathedral

welcomeCome and join Southern Voices for our next concert, part of the Winchester Festival, for a little late night music on Thursday 10 July at 8.30 pm in Winchester Cathedral Quire.

In this Shakespeare anniversary year, this concert showcases three very different composers and their approach to the rich resource of poetry from several dramas. Coming at the verse from groundings in English folksong, Swiss art music and jazz, variety will be everything. Noted actor Gabriel Woolf will let more of the Bard’s genius shine out in readings from the sonnets and plays. The choir, as ever, will be conducted by our excellent Katherine Dienes-Williams.

The three different interpretations consist of:

Vaughan Williams Three Shakespeare Songs
Frank Martin Songs of Ariel
George Shearing Songs & Sonnets of Shakespeare

Tickets cost £15 and are available from the Cathedral Box Office.

The running order has been confirmed as follows:

1. Gabriel Woolf – Opening Readings:

a)            O for a Muse of Fire (Chorus Act 1 Scene 1 Henry V)

b)            Where should this music be (Act 1 Scene 2 The Tempest)

2. CHOIR – Vaughan Williams ‘Three Shakespeare Songs’

3. Gabriel Woolf – Readings:

a)            My gentle Puck come hither (Act 1 Scene 1 A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream)

b)            Aspects of Love – from the Sonnets ( 5 short readings)

4. CHOIR – Frank Martin ‘Songs of Ariel’

5. Gabriel Woolf – Readings:

a)            Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves (Act 5 Scene 1 The Tempest)

b)            Speak the speech I pray you (Advice to the Players Act 3 Scene 2 Hamlet)

c)            ‘Tis but fortune (Malvolio finds the letter – Act 2 Scene 5 Twelfth Night)

6. CHOIR – G. Shearing ‘Songs & Sonnets’ Song 1 – Live with me and be my love (NB Song 1 ONLY!)

7. Gabriel Woolf – Reading –

a)            The Nymph’s Reply (Sir Walter Raleigh 1800)

8. CHOIR – Shearing ‘Songs & Sonnets’ Songs 2 – 7


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ice skating with Livi 2013

For the record, a quick late visit to the excellent Winchester Cathedral ice rink. As we were late the Christmas market had gone leading to a slightly calmer atmosphere in the Cathedral close. Still working up the courage to wear a cassock on the ice. Perhaps next year…

Taking a break

Taking a break











Giving advice to the old man

Giving advice to the old man









Busy despite the absence of the market

Busy despite the absence of the market



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Between Darkness and Light – upcoming Southern Voices concert

2013-11picThe next Southern Voices concert in November features some fantastic but little known music from the Baltic and Scandinavia. The concert is on Saturday 9 November at 7:30 in Winchester Cathedral Quire.

Times and seasons pass; landscapes change and diversify around us. Many Scandinavian and Baltic composers have been affected by both nature and the landscapes which surround them, and have responded in kind in their music.

These compositions – together with other pieces of choral music from Hungary, the UK and the USA – form the programme for our concert on Saturday 9th November in Winchester Cathedral Quire.

From the rising of the sun in Latvian composer Peteris Vasks’ ‘Mate saule’ (written in 1977) to the final ‘Plainscapes’ – also written by Vasks in 2002 and which he himself describes as’ nature’s awakening’ – our programme seeks to explore the soundscapes of the 20th and 21st centuries through which composers have endeavoured to portray the beauty of nature, earth and heaven.

Three of the words feature strings. Two of them – by O’Regan and Whitacre – make use of the intimate yet colourful medium of the string quartet, while Vasks’ ‘Plainscapes’ uses the bareness of violin and ‘cello to convey ‘the natural beauty of Latvia’ – but manages, nonetheless, to depict a vast sonority using this intimate instrumentation.

Tickets prices: £17.50. Concessions: £14.50. Children 17 and under: £5.

Available from the Cathedral Box Office.

The programme is as follows:

Tariq O’Regan – The Ecstasies Above
Eric Whitacre – 5 Hebrew Love Songs
Kodaly – Nights on the Mountain
Hugo Alfvén – Aftonen (Evenings)
Pēteris Vasks – Mate saule (Mother Sun)
Pēteris Vasks – Plainscapes
Hugo Alfvén – Dawn over the sea
Eriks Esenvalds – Evening

You can also order tickets direct from me using the form below:

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A little late night music

Come and hear Southern Voices this Thursday 11 July at their Winchester Festival concert ‘A little late night music’.

Taking place in the sublime quire at Winchester Cathedral as the sun sets, the programme consists of two Bach motets, Singet dem Herrn and Jesu, meine Freude. The concert starts with a Stravinsky mass with small orchestra (including three trombones!).

Tickets from the cathedral box office or buy on the night.

Winchester Cathedral at dusk

Winchester Cathedral at dusk (last night!)











Rehearsing the Stravinsky

Rehearsing the Stravinsky quartet











New altar frontal for the festival

New altar frontal for the festival

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Christmas!!

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas!

We wish everyone a very happy Christmas and a successful, prosperous and a peaceful New Year.

If you want even more news and can’t wait, you can follow @millylilyanning (clout 42, too much time on Twitter), @bryonyanning (clout 37, watch out for post-work tweets), @richardanning (clout 28, occasional outbursts), @rebeccaanning (clout 17, bless) and @livianning (due to return in 2013).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Southern Voices & Rachmaninov: Winchester Cathedral

We like Derek Beck, who wrote the review of the latest Southern Voices’ concert…

“A late evening concert brought Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil to the Winchester Festival. Popularly known as theVespers, this opulent setting for unaccompanied voices also adds music for Matins and the first Canonical Hours. In the shadows of the Cathedral nave the piece found its ideal acoustic given its largely slow harmonic rhythms and its multi-layered scoring.
Janet Shell provided the brief mezzo solo in the first psalm and with Andrew Phillips as solo tenor produced appropriately Slavic tone.

Olympian laurels must go to Winchester’s Southern Voices and their conductor Katherine Dienes-Williams for creating a totally convincing and immaculately prepared interpretation of this majestic work. Just over forty singers of this calibre were sufficient to match the dynamic range demanded by the composer with sonorous pianissimos and thrilling fortissimo climaxes even with parts sub-dividing.

There was a suitably ethereal quality to the high soprano chords often accompanying rich chanting from the male voices and the large bass section included singers capable of plumbing the subterranean depths of this typically East European soundscape. Phrases were beautifully shaped and individual (Russian) words caringly underlined with tasteful dynamics. Singing throughout the hour-long composition the choir remained fresh and ever attentive to the nuanced gestures of their director.

Rachmaninov combines ancient Greek and Russian chant with rich early twentieth century harmonies and his endlessly varied scoring for a cappella voices makes for a fascinating and atmospheric listening experience. Here the helpful textual programme notes were supplied by Southern Voices’ founder, Graham Caldbeck, who should be proud of his choir’s achievement and that of his latest successor.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

St Matthew Passion – review

Audience gathering at start of concert

The St Matthew Passion took place in Winchester Cathedral on a balmy and calm Saturday night, 9 April. After much rehearsing and drilling from Charles (who must be the world’s leading authority on the work!), the performance seemed to hit all the right buttons – band, soloists and choir all coming together to create a wonderful event. The crit said the following:


Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is one of the greatest works of Western civilisation and a large audience in Winchester Cathedral was privileged to hear a complete team of musicians who clearly felt the same. Furthermore, they had the necessary artistry and commitment to communicate the power and profundity of the work in its entirety. Sung in German, and thus preserving Bach’s rhythmic intentions, the story unfolded with total drama and an instinctive feeling for language – a hallmark of the evening’s conductor, Charles Stewart, who had planned this epic presentation over many months. Non-German speakers still experienced the intensity of the human tragedy through the wonderfully nuanced singing of both soloists and forty-four members of Southern Voices. Supporting them was the period instrument section of the Southern Sinfonia, which always plays with alertness and enthusiasm in whatever styles are demanded of them.

Part 1 established the awesome credentials of Evangelist William Kendall, surely one of this country’s most practised, intelligent and fine-toned interpreters of Bach’s taxing recitatives. In the pulpit, fitting in age and dignity, was Hampshire Singer of the Year winner Jimmy Holliday as Jesus. He brought great power and realism to his accompanied recitatives as well as a thoughtful final aria in Part 2. Tenor Tim Lawrence and bass Marcus Farnsworth were equally compelling in their contributions and both used fine diction to reach across the great building. A frequent visitor to Cathedral programmes, Katharine Fuge produced consistently beautiful soprano tone and neat Baroque clarity. Newcomer mezzo soprano Clare Wilkinson has recorded the Passion and sang virtually all her music from memory with mesmerising effect on her listeners. Perhaps these two lighter female voices would have benefited from reduced orchestral strength in their solos but their engagement with the drama was never in doubt.

Part 2 saw the choir come into its own. It was first-rate before the Interval but as crowd choruses and eventual regretful humanity they were now totally credible and deeply moving by turns. This work articulates prejudice, greed, violence and social exclusion. If Charles Stewart’s directions were restrained and economical they still released a remarkably vivid retelling of this time-honoured yet ever relevant narrative.

Submitted by:  Derek Beck

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized