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Shakespeare Songs for a Summer Evening | The Manchester Chorale

Saturday July 9, 2016 at 20:00
St Michael and All Angels Church, Hawkshead
Free admission – no ticket required

  1. Rouen - Chris O'Hara, words by May Wedderburn Cannan
  2. Alice - Sarah Quartel
  3. Wide open spaces - Sarah Quartel
  4. The Seal Lullaby - Eric Whitacre
  5. Sleep - Eric Whitacre
  6. Nicolete, from 3 Chansons - Maurice Ravel
  7. O, mistress mine! - György Orbán
  8. Double, double toil and trouble, from 4 Shakespeare songs - Jaakko Mäntyjärvi
  9. Caliban's Song - David Hamilton
  10. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? - Nils Lindberg
  11. Shakespeare Songs - Matthew Harris
  12. Pastime with good company - Ward Swingle
  13. Jazz folk songs for choirs - Bob Chilcott

The Chorale has an extensive repertoire of songs by composers who have set Shakespeare’s words to music. This includes O Mistress Mine, Caliban's Song (Hamilton), Double Double Toil and Trouble (Mantyjaarvi), Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day (Lindberg) and It was a Lover and his Lass (Rutter). We will also be performing a selection of songs from the Matthew Harris Shakespeare Songbooks.

To add some variety to the evening, we will be singing some other songs that tell stories. Nicolette meets a wolf, then a page, then an ancient, ugly lord and falls for his money – a perfectly formed little song by Ravel. Eric Whitacre’s Seal Lullaby uses Kipling’s tale of a mother seal singing to her pup and overlays it with rich harmonies. Sarah Quartel's Alice is inspired by Lewis Carroll and the Chorale have to sing the story in a suitably mad way: ‘Twinkle, twinkle little bat’! Henry VIII will also feature on the night: Ward Swingle's arrangement of Pastime with Good Company has the the Chorale replicating medieval instruments, including sackbuts (the basses) and recorders (the sopranos). Do not miss this -- it's the first piece of the evening.

However, pride of place in our concert goes to a new work by the Chorale’s own Chris O’Hara that had its world premiere just a week before this concert.. Chris has taken the poem Rouen by May Wedderburn Cannan, who was a volunteer at the railhead at Rouen during the First World War. She evocatively recalls her changing emotions as soldiers arrived and trains were dispatched to the battlefront: ‘the sudden awful silence when the last train swung to darkness’. Chris has skilfully matched his music to the poet's mood.

St Michael and All Angels Church
Vicarage Lane
LA22 0PD
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