A night of exquisite beauty with the Farrant Singers

First published in Entertainments

A NIGHT of exquisite beauty in honour of Mary, who inspired all of the music.

The program was a mix of ancient and modern – the main work being the Mass Euge Bone by Christopher Tye, which was interspersed with 20th century pieces by Britten, Taverner, Stravinsky and Górecki.

The opening piece, by a teenage Britten, set the tone perfectly for the rest of the evening. The choir was on excellent form as they sang across the church in two groups; one singing in English and the other Latin, before giving the opening of the Tye Mass.

A glorious, rich sound and a great sense of calm and tranquillity flooded over us. A short Ave Maria by Stravinsky was the first interjection, before we returned the Mass. The most effective cut-in was John Taverner’s Hymn To The Mother of God, for which the choir again moved into two groups, emphasising the canonic nature.

They have also been experimenting with a mixing up of all the singers, and it seems to have worked well.

The first half closed with a sumptuous Agnus Dei from the Mass with fine contrasting dynamic sections.

The Górecki Totus Tuus set the scene beautifully for the second half. A return to Ockeghem, Taverner and Byrd made up the rest of the evening before the final work by Bax.

The Farrant singers are fast becoming one of Salisbury’s best choirs. If you haven’t heard them yet, you should definitely get to their next concert.

Sarah Collins

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