‘Two Cities, One Voice’
The Bramall was packed for our second concert with Liverpool Welsh Choral on Saturday! 400 people in the audience, and 250 on stage were eagerly awaiting our big ‘Carmina’ concert.
In the first half was Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Chichester Psalms’, a work with beautiful melodies and contrasting discordant passages with complex rhythms. 13 year old James Corcoran was our soloist, singing the Hebrew version of ‘The Lord’s my shepherd’. The Mixed Metal Percussion Ensemble then amused us with a clever item ‘Suitcase of Sounds’.
It was a warm night, so people were pleased to spill outside into Chancellor’s Court to enjoy interval drinks and conversation in the evening sun.
Carmina Burana was the showpiece in the second half! Three choirs singing the famous ‘O Fortuna’ was a powerful opening to the work!
‘O Fortuna’ sings of the Wheel of Fortune – the ups and downs of life. Our posters had all used the image of a fragment of a medieval fresco in Rochester Cathedral, depicting the Wheel of Fortune. It was most interesting to meet a man in the interval who had come to the concert as a result of seeing one of our posters. This image had attracted his attention immediately, as he had been a pupil at the Cathedral School in Rochester, and looked at that fresco on the wall many, many times!
The programme used the image of a screenprint ‘O Fortuna’, made by one of our former sopranos , Norma Southwick, some years ago.
O Fortuna: Screenprint by Norma Southwick, former singer.
Wheel of Fortune: Fragment of Medieval fresco in Rochester Cathedral.
It was good to sing the whole work, as well as O Fortuna at the beginning and the end. The tenors and basses had a particularly large part to sing in the Taverna section. Sam Oram, our baritone soloist, sang the solos in the drunken scene with great conviction!
The children’s choir in Carmina Burana, drawn from David and Alexandra Wynne’s junior choirs at St Chad’s Cathedral and the Junior Conservatoire, provided an important contribution, and sang their part with confidence.
Edward Harrisson (tenor) and Loretta Hopkins (soprano) both sang very demanding solos with ease.
Finally, the whole scene, with Kevin Gill and Stephen Hargreaves playing the two pianos, Mixed Metal Percussion Ensemble, the soloists and the three choirs, all under David Wynne’s clear and confident direction. Bravo!
Birmingham Festival Choral Society and Liverpool Welsh Choral thoroughly enjoyed singing these choral works, and the visits to each others cities has led to warm friendships between the two choirs. It has taken a lot of work for the organisers over two years, but it was definitely worth it! Here’s to the next time!
Message from the MD of Liverpool Welsh Choral, Keith Orrell
Well done everyone last night. Two great concerts and many happy friendships and musical highs. All the best BFCS.