Monday 18 February 2013

Britten and Friends at St. Peter Mancroft Church

On Saturday 16th February 2013 I attended the Keswick Hall Choir's Britten and Friends concert at St. Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich which was part of the Familiar Fields events to celebrate Benjamin Britten's life and music in Norfolk and Suffolk in his Centenary Year. The choir were conducted by Christopher Duarte in a programme of choral and organ music written between 1930-1950 by Benjamin Britten, Lennox Berkeley, Aaron Copland and Francis Poulenc. David Dunnett performed on Organ and Piano.

The programme consisted of Festival Te Deum op.32 - Britten, A Festival Anthem op.21 no.2 - Berkeley, Salve Regina - Poulenc, Chorale after an old French Carol - Britten, Five Flower Songs op.47 - Britten, Old American Songs, first set - Copland, Prelude to They Walk Alone - Britten, Prelude and Fugue on a theme of Vittoria - Britten and A.M.D.G. - Britten. This programme was designed to reflect some friendships Benjamin Britten formed and cemented from 1930 to 1950.

This was a wonderful concert to attend with the Keswick Hall Choir putting on a performance of the highest quality to help celebrate Benjamin Britten's Centenary Year. I particularly enjoyed Britten's Five Flower Songs which included the Ballad of Green Broom which plays out a humorous story. There's none like the Boy that sold Broom, Green Broom. Another song I very much enjoyed was Copland's I Bought me a Cat. I fed my cat under yonder tree. My cat says fiddle eye fee.

The Keswick Hall Choir received a well deserved and loud round of applause at the end of the concert to show how much everyone in attended at St. Peter Mancroft Church had enjoyed their performance. This was definitely a night to remember, with the songs and music of Benjamin Britten and his friends filling this historic Norwich City Centre venue with lots of joy.

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