LIZ LEATHERDALE

Colch­ester Clas­sics pre­views and re­views of a se­lec­tion of the lat­est clas­si­cal mu­sic events and con­certs tak­ing place across the county in this monthly col­umn

Essex Life - - CONTENTS -

Christ­mas just wouldn’t be Christ­mas with­out car­ols from John Rut­ter and Bob Chilcott and at Saf­fron Hall there is a spe­cial con­cert where both com­posers will con­duct their own fes­tive mu­sic.

Christ­mas just wouldn’t be Christ­mas with­out car­ols from John Rut­ter and Bob Chilcott. Over at Saf­fron Hall, there is a spe­cial con­cert to kick-start your Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions. Both com­posers will take turns to con­duct their own fes­tive mu­sic per­formed by the BBC Singers and ac­com­pa­nied by the BBC Con­cert Or­ches­tra.

This con­cert will be jam­packed with sea­sonal favourites plus a chance for au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. En­joy the spec­ta­cle on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 16 from 3pm at Saf­fron Hall, Saf­fron Walden. Tick­ets are £24 to £50. Call 0845 548 7650 for de­tails or to book.

Han­del’s Mes­siah is a fix­ture in the cho­ral cal­en­dar and this month a stel­lar line-up of soloists – in­clud­ing Rod­er­ick Wil­liams, Iestyn Davies, Al­lan Clay­ton and So­phie Be­van – join with the Brit­ten Sinfonia and Voices to per­form this or­a­to­rio at Saf­fron Hall on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 22 at 7.30pm. Tick­ets range from £18 to £50. Call 0845 548 7650.

Ear­lier in De­cem­ber the Univer­sity of Es­sex Choir con­ducted by Richard Cooke per­forms one of my favourite Christ­mas cho­ral works, Vaughan Wil­liams’ Fan­ta­sia on Christ­mas Car­ols.

This work clev­erly weaves English folk car­ols col­lected by the com­poser and his friend Ce­cil Sharp into this pop­u­lar work for bari­tone solo, choir and or­ches­tra. Other mu­sic on the pro­gramme in­cludes Schu­bert’s Mass in G and Per­golesi’s Mag­ni­fi­cat.

The Univer­sity of Es­sex Choir will be ac­com­pa­nied by the Lon­don Mozart Play­ers who will also per­form El­gar’s Ser­e­nade for Strings and Grieg’s Hol­berg Suite. For tick­ets, visit uni­ver­si­ty­ofes­sex­choir.org. The per­for­mance takes place on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8 at 7pm in the Ivor Crewe Lec­ture Hall at Univer­sity of Es­sex, Colch­ester.

Over in Clac­ton, its Cho­ral So­ci­ety presents a joy­ful con­cert crammed full of English mu­sic for choir, harp and or­gan. The main work of this con­cert is an­other pop­u­lar Christ­mas cho­ral work, Ben­jamin Brit­ten’s A Cer­e­mony of Car­ols.

Orig­i­nally writ­ten for just tre­ble voices, this per­for­mance uses the now stan­dard choir (so­prano, alto, tenor and bass) set­ting. The work be­gins with an un­ac­com­pa­nied pro­ces­sion, Hodie Chris­tus na­tus est, fol­lowed by a se­ries of car­ols telling the tra­di­tional story of the birth of Christ.

Gus­tav Holst’s Four Old English Car­ols and his lovely med­ley Christ­mas Day are some of the other mu­sic in this var­ied con­cert which takes place on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 9 at 6.30pm at St James’ Church, Tower Road, Clac­ton. Tick­ets are £10. Call 01255 221511.

If you have a forth­com­ing con­cert of clas­si­cal mu­sic event you would like pre­viewed, con­tact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

ABOVE: The BBC Singers

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