The Chandos Singers, conducted by Malcolm Hill, are one of Bath’s leading chamber choirs. To mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, the choir presents an enormous variety of musical settings of his words.
While many of Shakespeare’s plays have been used as the basis of numerous operas and solo songs, both in English and in all European languages, there are surprisingly few composers who have set his words for chorus. The concert on 12th March will include choral settings by, among others, Thomas Morley (1558-1602), Benjamin Cooke (1734-1793), Charles Wood (1866-1926), Charles Bordes (1863-1909), John Gardner (1917–2011) and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi (b.1963).
The choir will be joined by Katharine Adams, Jane Hunt and Paul Feldwick, performing short solo songs by Thomas Arne, Handel, Herbert Howells, Warlock and Britten, together with a song cycle by Gerald Finzi.
The concert will be held in the serene surroundings of the Magdalen Chapel on Holloway, Bath. A chapel is known to have existed on this site in the 11th century, and a leper hospital was built close by in the 12th. Both were under the care of the Abbey monks. The current building is 15th century. Despite severe bomb damage in 1942, it remains an active centre of worship.
Image: Macbeth and the witches, c1830, by Thomas Barker of Bath, 1769-1847. Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licence.