Ely Consort – In Memoriam – Saturday 1st December 2018

Ely Consort In Memoriam
Ely Consort
In Memoriam
Saturday 1st December, 7.30pm

Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel

tel.: 01353 660349 (Mon – Sat 9.30am – 4pm)

As the season of remembrance draws to a close Ely Consort blends the awe-inspiring melodies of Rachmaninov’s All-night vigil into a programme of choral music that brings a message of hope for the future.
The magnificent setting of the Cathedral’s Lady Chapel is sure to enhance the mood.

The concert includes the world premiere of the choir’s specially-commissioned work ‘Hope’ is a thing with feathers by the Canadian composer Sarah Quartel.

2018 is a year of anniversaries. Historically, of course, November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, and two important composers also have anniversaries this year: Sergei Rachmaninov, who died 75 years ago in 1943, and Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, who died 100 years ago, just one month before the end of the war. Ely Consort’s concert in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral draws together these various strands to create a programme which not only  commemorates the events and anniversaries, but also incorporates a theme of hope and reconciliation. Rachmaninov’s All-night vigil (commonly, although incorrectly, referred to as his Vespers) is one of the towering achievements in the choral repertoire.

The rich acoustic of the Lady Chapel makes this the perfect place to hear this amazing unaccompanied music, with the choir divided into as many as eleven parts to create the most incredible effects and harmonies. (We will sing ten movements from the complete work).

The First World War is directly referenced in our performance of David Bednall’s new work Some corner of a foreign field, which is an evocative and at times dramatic setting setting of three well-known war poems. Parry’s much loved Songs of Farewell were written towards the end of the war, when he knew he had not long to live, and this gives the music an added poignancy; we will sing three of the songs during this concert.

In recent years, many choirs have enjoyed singing the works of the young Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, and we are excited to be giving the world premiere of a work we have commissioned Sarah to write for us. ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers is a setting of a poem by Emily Dickinson, which likens the concept of hope to a feathered bird that is permanently perched in the soul of each us, where it sings, never stopping in its quest to inspire.

We will also perform Jonathan Dove’s incredible setting of Ring out, wild bells (the words of which come from Tennyson’s elegy In Memoriam) for double choir and virtuoso piano – this tumultuous work, which perfectly evokes the sound of the wild bells, ends with the optimistic lines ‘Ring in the thousand years of peace’. We hope that you will be able to join us for this evening of reflective, optimistic, and above all uplifting choral music.

Ely Consort ~ In Memoriam

~ Programme ~


Rachmaninov: All-night vigil

  • Come, let us worship
  • Blessed is the man 
    David Jepson: Do not stand at my grave and weep 
    David Bednall: Some corner of a foreign field
  • A Soldier’s Cemetery
  • To a missing friend
  • The Soldier 
    Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
  • Rejoice, O virgin
  • The six psalms
  • Praise the name of the Lord 
    Dove: Ring out, wild bells 
    ~ Interval ~ 
    Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
  • Having beheld the resurrection of Christ
  • My soul magnifies the Lord
    Parry: Songs of farewell
  • My soul, there is a country
  • Never weather beaten sail
  • There is an old belief
    Sarah Quartel: ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers
    Premiering a brand new choral work commissioned by Ely Consort!
    Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
  • Today salvation has come
  • Thou didst rise from the tomb
  • To Thee, the victorious leader


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