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The Sun Never Says....


Even

After

All this time

The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe

Me."


Look

What happens

With a love like that,

It lights the

Whole

Sky.


Daniel Ladinsky (from 'The Gift')



It's been a while. After the carolling and cheery choral chaos of Christmas and the seemingly never-ending darkness of Winter, Spring is almost upon us and we're starting to look forward to the sun lighting the whole sky (in the words of the beautiful poem by Daniel Ladinsky).


...And it is the words of this poem, as interpreted by composer Dan Forrest in his stunning piece for cello and voice, 'The Sun Never Says', that have given us the inspiration and the title for our Spring concert on 23rd March 2024. As last year, we are delighted to be joined by cellist Gabriel Waite from the Royal Northern Sinfonia to perform a lovely programme of pieces specially written, or arranged, for cello and choir.


Our programme includes some familiar pieces (if in less familiar arrangements) for this beautiful ensemble:


The 'Pie Jesu' from Fauré's Requiem;

'Goin' Home' based on the Largo from Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony No 9;

'Agnus Dei II' from the Missa Brevis by Palestrina.


Alongside these well-known works we shall be performing a selection of sublime, more contemporary pieces written for cello and choir which include:


The Sun Never Says by Dan Forrest;

The Oak by Becky McGlade;

Heart, we will forget him! by Bradley Ellingboe;

O Magnum Mysterium by Ola Gjeilo.


Most exciting of all however...... we are delighted to announce that we shall also be performing three works by local composers Eleanor Cully Boehringer, Len Young and Kerrin Tatman.


Eleanor's mesmeric work, Snowdrop (how apt for a Spring concert!) started as just a short sentence sent to Eleanor by artist Sarah Boulton, who is based near the west coast of Scotland. Eleanor has set Sarah's words for double choir (SSAATTBB) with vibraphone and violin, adapted for cello for our concert. Followers of Fenham Ensemble will remember Eleanor's piece Swan which we premiered at last year's concert with Gabriel Waite, as well as her Perennial Ephemeral reworking of British folk carol 'The Holly and the Ivy' which we performed at Christmas 2023. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Eleanor and Gabriel again on Snowdrop with a guest appearance from Mark Edwards on Vibraphone. https://www.eleanorcully.co.uk/music/snowdrop


Kerrin Tatman joined our Tenor section earlier this year and has already made a positive impact on the choir. Kerrin is a composer, musician and creative producer based in Newcastle. In 2008, they won the National Centre for Early Music Young Composers Competition for their Stabat Mater an extremely moving piece scored for SSATB which we are delighted to be performing in this concert. https://youtu.be/f9Lzg6MDyoE?si=eEcMOC_TN9U4-L_G


And last but by no means least, Len Young is no stranger to those who love choral music in the North East of England and we are incredibly proud to be premiering his Tarantella written specially for ourselves and Gabriel Waite. Based upon the poem of the same name by Hilaire Belloc, Tarantella is a thrilling, upbeat celebration of the dance which, the story goes, is brought on by the intoxication induced by the sting of the tarantula spider which is similar to that induced by falling in love. Definitely one to listen out for!


The choir is really enjoying rehearsals ahead of this concert. This is a programme which is a delight to sing and promises to be a truly magical concert for our audience on 23rd March 2024.









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