An English Christmas

Sunday 9 December 2012

9 December, 2012 - 19:30 Exeter College Chapel

2012 is the centenary of one of the best loved English Christmas choral works - the Fantasia on Christmas carols by Ralph Vaughan-Williams. To mark this, the Cherwell Singers concert this term has as its theme English Christmas music of the past one hundred years that uses traditional carols and weaves them into larger compositions. Thus, as well as the Vaughan -Williams Fantasia, we include “Christmas Day” by Holst and the abbreviated version of the little known Christmas Cantata by Geoffrey Bush.

Written in 1947, and first performed in Oxford just a few metres away from our venue of Exeter College Chapel in Balliol College, this work exists in a version for choir, solo soprano, oboe and piano. The use of the solo oboe in this piece complements the solo cello part in the Vaughan-Williams Fantasia.

Oboist Christopher Redgate and cellist Gabriel Amherst will also be performing seasonal solo items in this concert, and we will be joined as usual by organist Steven Grahl. Advent and Christmas works by Finzi, Britten and Ireland also feature in this celebration of English music to conclude this jubilee year.

Directed by: James Brown