Hark! What glorious sounds!

Sunday 3 July 2011

3 July, 2011 - 19:30 Magdalen College Auditorium

The Cherwell Singers, joined by pianist Steven Grahl, presents a summer concert on Sunday July 3rd at 7.30pm at the Grove Auditorium, Magdalen College.

Entitled “Hark! what glorious sounds!” ( a line from Elgar’s “Songs from the Bavarian highlands” with which we begin the concert) it is a celebration of folksongs and songs in arrangements from the twentieth century.

Folksong speaks of the joys and sorrows of life with its universal themes of landscape, nature, nostalgia and, of course, love. These shared values speak to everyone, perhaps more so than any other musical form, and were the original popular music of their day. In a nod to the development that song was later to take in this direction we include in our programme some arrangements of favourite popular songs from the mid twentieth century with the addition of a jazz trio.

The transition from the countryside to the concert hall has given the originally simple and instantly attractive melodies of folksong a new lease of life as the starting point for new and artful arrangements by living composers of today such as Rutter, Archer, Chilcott, Erb and Higginbottom (all of whom are featured in our concert in arrangements of familiar songs such as Londonderry Air, Shenandoah and Early one morning). Thus folksong succesfully survived the transition into the moderm mechanised world largely thanks to the efforts of those composers such as Elgar and Vaughan-Williams who collected and catalogued it from the oral tradition. The pastoral setting of the Grove Auditiorium backing on to the gardens and deer park of Magdalen College provides a suitable setting for this music and we do hope you will be able to join us.

Directed by: James Brown