Singers offer a beguiling journey through time

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The Leconfield Singers are presenting a concert at Arundel Cathedral on Saturday, June 20 (7.30pm).

The evening will offer a beguiling journey through time with a commemorative and meditative theme that promises to be both moving and uplifting.

Featuring the beautiful Requiem in D Minor, Op.48, by Gabriel Fauré, with its seven movements centred around the famous soprano solo Pie Jesu, this irresistible piece has strong qualities of lullaby and radiates a sense of beauty and calmness.

The Five Mystical Songs by Vaughan Williams, a perennial favourite based on spiritual texts, transports people into the mid-twentieth century. The first four songs are meditations featuring solo baritone, leading to the final Antiphon – a triumphant hymn of praise.

Cecilia McDowall‘s Ave Maris Stella brings the concert right up to date.

First performed in November 2011 at Portsmouth Cathedral, the piece is inspired by the words of Woodrow Wilson: “The freedom of the seas is the sine qua non of peace, equality and co-operation.”

The work is arranged in seven sections structured symmetrically around the turbulent central Psalm 106, with the closing sections suggesting a mood of peace and certainty. Brian Knowles, a member of the choir and a prolific composer and musician, has created a musical setting of the First World War poem In Flanders Fields by Lt Col John McCrae. This affecting piece evokes the ephemeral beauty of sunlit poppy fields. Skylarks above herald the vitality of life, while we reflect on memories of the men who lay beneath the soil and the horrors they endured.

The soloists are the vibrant soprano Emma Harding and professional baritone Dyfed Wyn Evans, who has performed with Sir Simon Rattle, English National Opera, Opera North and English Touring Opera, as well as Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Albert Hall.

The English Philharmonia, conducted by Graham Wili and drawn from the finest professional orchestral musicians in the UK, will bring the whole concert alive with a wonderful accompaniment for the choir, as well as lightening the tone with a performance of John Rutter’s Suite Antique for flute, harpsichord and strings, which pays loose and winking homage to a variety of early dances and styles.

For more information and tickets visit www.leconfieldsingers.com (tickets also available on the door).

Adults £15, children under 16 £7.50.

People can also get tickets from Spriggs, 10a New Street, Petworth (01798 345133) or The Book Ferret, 34 High Street, Arundel (01903885727).

There will be a retiring collection for Chestnut Tree House Hospice for Children.

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