Bernstein – Chichester Psalms
Britten – Saint Nicolas
Conducted by Steven Kings with The Regency Sinfonia
With tenor John Bacon, the solo quartet of Ruth Bamfield, Heather Ashford, Jack Parry and Charlie Morris, organist Sam Bayliss and pianists James Drinkwater and Christopher Northam.
To mark this year’s centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein the choir will sing his Chichester Plalms, described by Steven Kings as “a vibrant setting of the ancient Hebrew hymns of praise, prayer and petition, reimagined in glorious 20th century technicolour.” The piano duet of James Drinkwater and Christopher Northam will also play a selection of pieces from Bernstein’s West Side Story. Britten’s cantata St Nicholas, which forms the second half of the concert, gives an account of the life of St Nicolas, patron saint of children, seamen and travellers, who was the Bishop of Myra in fourth century Asia Minor. Woven into the work are two well-known hymns, All people that on earth do dwell and God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform, and the audience will be invited to join in singing them. In Steven Kings’ words: “Britten portrays the story of St Nicolas in music of joy and jollity, drama and devotion, mystery and melody, with an energy and directness that are the hallmarks of one of England’s greatest composers.” Tickets for the concert, at £17.00, under-18s free, are available from the Blake Theatre, or from the choir box office on 01594 531 496, online at www.monmouthchoralsociety.co.uk or on the door.