York Cantores celebrate 20th anniversary
WHILE the audience applauded another successful concert, there was that sinking feeling among the students at York’s Ripon and St John College, believing it was the last time they would be together.
But as York Cantores founder member, Claire Jowett, recalls, “We didn’t want to stop singing, and we persuaded Stephen Hartley, who had been our conductor at college to help us, and twenty years later we are still going strong.”
Using the original format of no more than twenty-four voices, they formed the York Cantores, and were soon to find a permanent place among the many choral groups already existing in the city. It was not long before they were soon receiving rave reviews.
“As a choir we recognise that we all have busy lives,” continues their present conductor, Peter Collis. “And perhaps for that reason we continue to choose challenging programmes so that we get real the value of rehearsing and performing together.”
That involves a vast range of music, and outstanding pieces from among their recent concerts have included works from the Spanish Renaissance. And to celebrate their 20th birthday they have chosen a programme devoted to British music from the 16th to the 20th century which includes Francis Jackson’s The Shell, and Will Todd’s Vidi Speciosam.
Collis has the final word, “I aim to ensure that the choir gives the best possible performances, there’s a lot of competition for audiences in York.”
York Cantores, National Centre for Early Music, York, Jun 15, 8pm. 01904 658338.
Dobrinka Tabakova, born in Bulgaria in 1980, but educated and now living in London, offers a very individual 21st century musical voice that employs a modern tonality and an innovative use of instruments. The high-impact Cello Concerto is a technical challenge to the soloist, stunningly played by Kristina Blaumane, while music of yesteryear, heard through modern ears, comes with the highly attractive Suite in Old Style featuring the quite sensational viola soloist Maxim Rysanov. A remarkable modern music release.