March 9th, 2016

Review | Music for Queens | March 2016

We were very pleased to receive the following from the congregation at St Mark’s Church, following our performance there of ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ – Music for Queens on 5th March 2016.

“A large audience waited in an atmospherically-lit St Mark’s church on Saturday for our Choir Director, Louisa Denby, to conduct her own choir and ensemble, Vox Cantab, and The Rosemary Consort Brass Ensemble, in a cleverly-selected programme of 17th- and 18th-century music. The concert was in three sections: ‘Funeral Sentences and Motets’ by Henry Purcell, ‘Music from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II,’ and ‘Birthday Ode for Queen Anne.’ The theatrical elements that Louisa had devised produced a dramatic, riveting concert – natural brass and drum in the gallery and around the building, a choir processing elegantly in black for the sacred music, then in lively colours for the coronation and birthday music. Several of the more experienced – and reputedly judgemental – songsters of St Mark’s voted it the best singing they had heard in the church in many a year. A first-class concert by a first-rate choir!”

John Bachelor at the newly-refurbished organ.

John Bachelor at the newly-refurbished organ.

“They began with funeral music written by Purcell. It was composed when he was just 35 years old and I suspect all those creating the music for us were even younger. I had shivers down my spine at the end of the piece. There was a feeling of overwhelming solemnity and sadness, and it seemed right to be in the church where so many funerals have taken place.
“The second half was a glorious celebration of praise and thanks and a complete change of mood, and the wonderful singing and music was presented in a celebration of colour.”

Funeral Sentences and motets - Henry Purcell.

Funeral Sentences and motets – Henry Purcell.

“The concert was exciting to listen to…the singers and musicians showed their delight in all that they did, but we must give the highest award to Louisa…she has such a wide grasp of all that she is doing…her qualifications are remarkable…thank you Louisa for such a glorious evening.”

We are grateful to all at St Mark’s for their assistance on the day of the concert, and for allowing us to present such an event in their lovely church. We intend to take up the invitation to return!