Dona Nobis Pacem
- Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Music Club Choir
Winchester College Glee Club and Quiristers
Winchester Music Club Orchestra
David Thomas - Conductor
Jamal Sutton - Organist
Parry Blest Pair of Sirens
Holst Hymns from the Rig Veda III (sung by the Quiristers with Harp soloist Angela Moore and conducted by Malcolm Archer)
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (by orchestra only)
Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem
Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem is one of his finest choral works. Composed in 1936 and employing mainly the poetry of Walt Whitman as its text, it is a passionate and deeply-felt plea by the composer against war, at a time when a second global conflict seemed imminent. Vaughan Williams had served in the Great War as a stretcher-bearer, and had therefore seen the horror of the trenches at first hand; he had also lost many friends during the course of the war. The texts represent those horrors but also the belief that eventually man will see the error of his ways, and live in peace. The resultant work is both moving and rousing, passionate and powerful, contrasting beauty with terror, and the sounds of battle with the calm of peace.
The first half of the concert included the same composer’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis with its lush writing for double string orchestra; Vaughan Williams’ teacher, Hubert Parry, is represented by his ode to music Blest pair of sirens, a setting of words by John Milton, while the Hymns from the Rig Veda by Vaughan Williams’ contemporary and friend Gustav Holst were performed by the Winchester College Quiristers, conducted by Malcolm Archer. The Harp solo was performed by Angela Moore.
We were fortunate to be joined for the concert by two internationally renowned soloists, soprano Lucy Crowe and baritone Neal Davies. The combined forces of the Winchester Music Club and Winchester College Glee Club were conducted by David Thomas.
Lucy Crowe - Soprano
Neal Davies - Baritone
Lucy Crowe - Soprano
Born in Staffordshire, Lucy Crowe studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She has established herself as one of the leading lyric sopranos of her generation. Her operatic roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Servilia (La Clemenza di Tito) for the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Eurydice (Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice), Adina (l’Elisir d’Amore), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Gilda (Rigoletto) and Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and Covent Garden; Gilda for the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Dona Isabel (The Indian Queen), Poppea (Agrippina) and Drusilla (The Coronation of Poppea) for English National Opera; Merab (Saul), Micaëla (Carmen), The Fairy Queen and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Dorinda (Orlando) in Lille, Paris and for the Opera de Dijon. She made her US Opera debut as Iole in Handel’s Hercules for the Chicago Lyric Opera and has since sung the role for the Canadian Opera Company.
In concert she has performed with many of the world’s finest conductors and orchestras including the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra under Pappano; the Orchestre National de France under Gatti; the Philharmonia under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Australian Chamber Orchestra under Tognetti; the Philadelphia Orchestra under Nezet-Seguin; the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival under Denève; the London Symphony Orchestra under Harding and Elder; the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons, Edward Gardner, Emanuelle Haim and Sakari Oramo; the Konzerthausorchester Berlin under Iván Fischer; the Zurich Chamber Orchestra under Sir Roger Norrington; the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Charles Mackerras and Richard Egarr; the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Mackerras and Nezet-Seguin; the English Concert under Trevor Pinnock, Andrew Manze and Laurence Cummings; the Sixteen under Harry Christophers; the Gabrieli Consort under Paul McCreesh; and the Monteverdi Orchestra under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Lucy has performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and at the Salzburg Festival. She is a regular recitalist at London’s Wigmore Hall and made her US recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 2014.
Her recordings include Handel’s Il Pastor Fido and a Handel & Vivaldi disc with La Nuova Musica under David Bates for Harmonia Mundi; a Lutoslawski disc with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardner, Handel’s Alceste with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company, and Eccles’ The Judgement of Paris all for Chandos; and a solo Handel disc - ll Caro Sassone – with Harry Bicket and the English Concert on Harmonia Mundi.
Future plans include the title role in Rodelinda at the Teatro Real Madrid; Ismene (Mitridate) at the Royal Opera House; Mozart Requiem concerts with the LA Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel and Boston Symphony Orchestra/Nelsons; Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin; the St John Passion with Pappano in Rome; and a tour with the LSO/John Eliot Gardiner performing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang. Lucy has recently been appointed a Fellow to the Royal Academy of Music.
Neal Davies - Baritone
Neal Davies studied at King's College, London, and the RAM, and won the Lieder Prize at the 1991 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He has appeared with the Oslo Philharmonic under Jansons, BBC Symphony Orchestra under Boulez, Cleveland and Philharmonia Orchestras under Dohnanyi, Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Harnoncourt, OAE under Brüggen, English Concert with Harry Bicket, Gabrieli Consort under McCreesh, Hallé Orchestra with Elder, Concerto Koeln under Bolton, Scottish chamber Orchestra with Adam Fischer, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with Edward Gardner, and the London Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras under Harding. He has been a regular guest of the Edinburgh Festival and BBC Proms. His wide discography includes Messiah, Theodora, Saul and Creation (Gramophone Award 2008) under McCreesh, Jenufa and Makropulos Case under Mackerras, Barber’s Vanessa under Slatkin, Messiah under Rene Jacobs, the Hyperion Complete Schubert Edition with Graham Johnson and Britten’s Billy Budd with Daniel Harding (Grammy Award, 2010).
Operatic appearances have included Major General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance) and Ko-Ko (The Mikado) for the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Giulio Cesare, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) and Alaska Wolf Joe (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; L’Allegro, Zebul (Jephtha), Publio (La clemenza di Tito), Ariodates (Xerxes) and Kolenaty (The Makropoulos Case) for the English National Opera; Radamisto for the Opera de Marseille; Leporello (Don Giovanni) for the Scottish Opera and Montreal Opera; Curlew River for the Edinburgh Festival; Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan tutte), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Leporello, Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Zebul and Sharpless (Madame Butterfly) for Welsh National Opera; Agrippina for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin. With William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Neal has sung in Theodora (Paris and Salzburg) and in the Aix-n-Provence Festival production of Charpentier’s David et Jonathas (Aix, Edinburgh and New York), which is available on DVD. He sang Traveller in the Barbican Centre production of Curlew River, which toured to New York’s Lincoln Centre. This season opera engagements include Alaska Wolf Joe for the Rome Opera, Theodora with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Richard Egarr), and Ariodante for the Scottish Opera; he appears in concert with Paul McCreesh (Lisbon and Lucerne), Bernard Labadie (Montreal and Sydney), and Ivor Bolton (Salzburg).