25th Anniversary CD

This CD was produced in 2003 has a significant American flavour, yet still manages to span almost 500 years, whilst featuring male and female soloists, violin and crumhorns! The items included are:

  • Eight of the best-known vocal works of George and Ira Gershwin have been arranged as a medley by our Director, Deborah Miles-Johnson. This is complemented by her arrangements of the Fats Waller number Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Cole Porters Night and Day.
  • Of a different genre, but no less American, are Parker and Shaw’s rapid-fire arrangement of the traditional Vive L’Amour and, by contrast, the well known spiritual Steal Away, arranged by our Director after Tippett.
  • More up to date is Alan Simmons’ arrangement of James Horner’s Titanic theme. This has a Celtic-sounding violin melody in the accompaniment played by Helena Nicholls.
  • Some 500 years earlier, Henry VIII, or a contemporary, is reputed to have written Pastime With Good Company.  It is performed here with solo baritone and period instruments.
  • Quintessentially English pieces are Brigg Fair, an arrangement of the traditional Lincolnshire folk song by our MD after Percy Grainger, and Sailing at Dawn from Songs of the Fleet, Stanford’s musical tribute to British sea power of the early 1900s.
  • When That I Was is taken from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ and arranged specially for us by Geoff Davidson.
  • In 1843 the Irish composer Michael Balfe achieved great success in London with his opera ‘The Bohemian Girl’ and its best-known aria, I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls, is sung by our very own Musical Director.
  • No programme of ours is complete without an arrangement by Doris Arnold. Writing for the Kentucky Minstrels in the 1930s, she weaved her magic on Capel and Bingham’s Love Could I Only Tell Thee.
  • To give the recording a more international flavour we have included arrangements of two Russian folk songs. The love song Katyusha features tenor solo and violin, whilst a baritone soloist tells the story of the Cossack prince Stenka Razin. The tune will be familiar to anyone remembering ‘The Carnival is Over’, a hit for the Australian pop group ‘The Seekers’ in the 1960s.
  • Finally Hashivenu, sung in Hebrew, is more usually heard in a Synagogue. In our version it is sung as a very effective round.

The guest soprano soloist on this recording is Hilary Musgrave. She joins our musical director, Deborah Miles-Johnson, in singing a choir favourite, The Flower Duet from Delibes’ Lakmé.

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