Notes on Spring 2020 Concert
MacMillan: In splendoribus sanctorum
Dove: Seek Him that maketh the seven stars
Andrew: O nata lux
Tallis: O nata lux de lumine
MacMillan: O Radiant Dawn
MacMillan: Benedictus deum cieli
Weir: I love all beauteous things
Elgar: Light of the world
Holst: Nunc dimittis
MacMillan: The Canticle of Zacharia
Organ - Trumpet solo
Rachmaninoff: Bogoroditse devo
Dove: Ecce beatam lucem
Balfour Gardiner: Evening hymn
For the second concert of our 60th anniversary season we are breaking away from our more usual format of large-scale repertoire works with a widely varied programme of shorter items from the 16th to the 21st century. The predominant theme of the programme is ‘Light’. Jonathan Dove, one of this evening’s featured composers, has written that “The theme of light, and starlight in particular, is an endless source of inspiration for composers”, and from the ‘radiant dawn’ and the ‘brightness of the Saints’ of James MacMillan’s Strathclyde Motets to the atmospheric depictions of the night sky and the ‘dazzling splendour’ of sun, moon and stars in Dove’s own Ecce beatam lucem most of our programme reflects this in one way or another. Two very different settings of the hymn at Lauds O nata lux de lumine (O Light born of Light), one by the contemporary composer and performer Kerry Andrew and the other by Thomas Tallis, from the famous 16th-century collection of Cantiones Sacrae, will be further complemented by MacMillan’s O Radiant Dawn, which takes its musical cue directly from the Tallis.
We also include the lilting setting of Robert Bridges, I love all beauteous things, by the current Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, written for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016. Those who enjoy their Elgar will welcome the chance to hear the typically grand final chorus of his seldom-performed early oratorio The Light of Life, which recounts Jesus’s healing of a man born blind, while Gustav Holst’s even rarer Renaissance-inspired eight-voice setting of the Nunc Dimittis, written for Westminster Cathedral in the dark days of the First World War, came ‘to light’ only when re-discovered by his daughter Imogen after lying forgotten for over half a century. From the same year, 1915, comes Rachmaninov’s famous setting of the All-Night Vigil, one of his very greatest works which effectively brought a musical era to an end, almost immediately overshadowed as it was by the Russian Revolution; from this we sing the final Vespers setting, Ave Maria. Having in a sense travelled ‘full circle’ from the dawn of the day, we will end with a piece from our recent repertoire, the Evening Hymn of Henry Balfour Gardiner.
Our two guest artists are James McVinnie, former Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey, who will be accompanying the choir in five of their items, and trumpeter Matilda Lloyd, winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Brass final in 2014, who will take part in the opening piece with the choir and in the duet with organ in Part 2. The latter is the first UK performance of a recent arrangement for trumpet and organ by the Danish organist Soren Johannsen of the popular ‘Helios’ Overture, inspired by the Greek Sun-God, which Nielsen composed while working in Athens in 1903; it portrays sunrise and sunset over the Aegean Sea.
JN / 1 Mar 2020
James McVinnie is an organist and pianist.
His work as a performer encompasses music from the 16th century to the present day. He has collaborated with many leading figures in new music including Philip Glass, Tom Jenkinson/Squarepusher, Angelique Kidjo, Nico Muhly, Martin Creed, David Lang, Richard Reed Parry, Bryce Dessner & Darkstar, many of whom have written large scale works for him.
James McVinnie is a member of Icelandic record label Bedroom Community. 2019 saw the release of All Night Chroma on Warp Records and 2020 will see a new album of works by Philip Glass for organ & piano.
2020 and 2021 highlights include solo performances at Paris Philharmonie, Lyon Auditorium, Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, Southbank and Barbican Centres as well as the opening of the Munich Philharmonic 2020/21 season, and concerto performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hailed as “remarkable” by the Daily Telegraph, British trumpeter Matilda Lloyd is a fast-rising young artist with exceptional poise and musicality. Aged 24, Matilda is captivating audiences with her artistry and communication, her flawless technique and the unique character she brings to each and every work. In 2014, Matilda was the winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Brass Final, and in 2016, gave her BBC Proms solo debut, performing at London’s Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Philharmonic and Alpesh Chauhan. The following year, Matilda won the Eric Aubier International Trumpet Competition in Rouen, France, an achievement which led to her international debut in Spring 2019 with l’Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen. Recent highlights also include performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra (for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night) and the London Mozart Players. In March 2018, she was chosen to replace Tine Thing Helseth for a celebration of International Women’s Day with the Manchester Camerata under Jessica Cottis.
The 19/20 season sees Matilda make her USA, South Africa and German debuts performing with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, KwaZuluNatal Philharmonic, Johannesburg Philharmonic and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern. She also gives recitals with John Reid, Cameron Richardson-Eames and the Kirkman Quartet.
Matilda graduated with a First Class degree in Music from Cambridge University in 2017 and received a Master’s Degree from the Royal Academy of Music in 2019. Matilda will receive lessons during this season from Håkan Hardenberger at the Malmö Academy of Music. Matilda released her debut album Direct Message on the Orchid Classics Label in October 2018, featuring 20th and 21st century works for trumpetand piano with pianist John Reid.