Notes on Winter 2018 Concert
Beckenham Chorale concert, Saturday 1st December 2018
The main work in Beckenham Chorale’s eve-of-Advent concert on 1st December will be Alan Bullard’s Advent Celebration O Come, Emmanuel, written in 2012 for the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge. The second of three seasonal cantatas, it is based on the texts of the seven Great ‘O’ Advent Antiphons and the melody of the well known hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel, which is heard in a variety of guises throughout the work. It also contains new settings and new arrangements of several other Advent texts including Chanticleer, Gabriel’s Message and Joy to the World. There are hymns, too, in which the audience is invited to join.
A further selection of familiar Christmas items will include Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, which VW dedicated to his friend and eminent fellow folk song collector Cecil Sharp. Composed for the Three Choirs Festival of 1912, it is founded on three traditional English carols, The truth sent from above, from Herefordshire, the ‘Somerset Carol’ Come all you worthy gentlemen and On Christmas night all Christians sing, in a version known as the ‘Sussex Carol’, which has become very popular as a separate seasonal item. References to several other well known carol tunes also appear during the course of the work.