Walking, listening

At last: a sunny, crisp day, after weeks of dismal rain. The sun was glinting on the water and the sky was blue. I walked round Worsbrough Res this morning, listening to today’s Building a Library, on Radio 3, which – by coincidence – was about Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, ‘From the New World’. I listened to it again. I would have listened a third time but my phone ran out of battery.

Worsbrough Reservoir
Worsbrough Reservoir
Sky above the crack willow

I recommend it for anyone coming to this work for the first time, or anyone who wants a fresh perspective on an old favourite. Bernstein’s version – slow, for once. Marin Alsop with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra – lush but incisive. The favourite recording: Sir Charles Mackerras with the Prague Symphony Orchestra – maintaining a lightness of touch but with punch where required.

Lest we forget.

We had our first choir rehearsal last night for the Lauridsen Lux Aeterna. I’m listening to that as I write. We need to get used to words that are less familiar than those we know well from the Requiem mass, and we have our work cut out with the typical Lauridsen clusters and the high alto parts. But this is going to be glorious to perform.

There are dark places in the world. Worsbrough Res this morning was a place of light and peace, and I am thankful.

Our preparations for the concert are, as ever, a celebration of friendship, joy, and love. Join us.

Concert for anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Saturday 24th February 2024 marks two years since the invasion of Ukraine.

We are planning a concert at St. Alban’s Church, Hull, to commemorate this occasion, and to keep the Ukrainian people in our thoughts.

Our concert will present Antonin Dvořák’s ever-popular Ninth Symphony, ‘From the New World’, which expresses so well a sense of nostalgia and longing for home. We performed this symphony back in the autumn of 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world as we knew it.

Also in the concert, and new to Invitatione, is Morten Lauridsen’s choral work Lux Aeterna, whose words speak of finding light in darkness. We have always enjoyed performing Lauridsen’s beautiful setting of O magnum mysterium at Christmas, and we are very much looking forward to getting to know this larger-scale work for choir and chamber orchestra.

We are welcoming more singers of all voices to our choir, and players, especially string players, to the orchestra. If you are a brass or woodwind player, please do also get in touch, as we have vacancies in certain areas. You can sign up to our mailing list here.

All proceeds from the concert will go to supporting Ukraine-related causes. Please get in touch if you would like to nominate a charity.

Informal concert, October 8th 2022, St. Alban’s Church, Hull

On the evening of Friday 7th October and the afternoon of Saturday 8th October, we got together, in St. Alban’s Church, Hull, for the first time since our series of open rehearsals in the spring. We were able to work briefly on that same repertoire, linked by themes relating to war, peace, nationhood, nature and remembrance, with a view to giving an informal performance on the Saturday evening, to family and friends. This was not a polished performance, on just a few hours’ rehearsal, but it was a joy to be music-making together.

All the local composers whose works we were performing were in the room, and were able to talk to the audience about their compositions. It was a privilege to be able to work with them and offer their music to the public.

A series of recordings of Paul Chamberlain’s Songs from the Requiem is available below.

Open rehearsals in aid of Ukraine relief charities

Thanks to everyone who came along to our three open rehearsals in May, to play, sing, or watch and listen.

Our visitors were treated to the first public performances of new works by Ian Reid, Alan Edgar, Amy Parkin and Paul Chamberlain.

This has been a lovely series of rehearsals for us, discovering completely new music.

We hope to continue rehearsing this repertoire for a more formal performance in the autumn.

Christmas greetings – and a Lauridsen treat

It is very sad indeed that we have not – yet again – been able to get together and sing this Christmas. It is especially disappointing because we had hoped that our informal concert on 20th November would be the start of a renewal of our music making after the long gap due to the pandemic.

By way of some small consolation, and as a reminder of better days, here is a performance, from the Invitatione archives, of the beautiful O magnum mysterium by Morten Lauridsen. It is hard to believe that it is five years since, in 2016, we embarked on three concerts in three venues in Hull and the East Riding, to celebrate Advent and Christmas. Thanks to Stuart Grant, we have recordings of all of those concerts.

This particular performance was part of the lunchtime concert we gave at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Peter Chanel, Hull, on 26th November 2016, the weekend of Advent.

Listening back to this excellent performance underlines how important it is for us to keep singing together, and to keep sharing our performances with a wider audience.

Let’s hope 2022 brings renewed opportunities for us to be together to sing and play. In the meantime, enjoy.

Event on 20th November

On the evening of 20th November, we are putting on a fairly informal performance at St. Alban’s Church, Hall Road, Hull, as a means of taking a step back into the world of concerts and concert preparation. This is not a ticketed event and is only open to friends and family of those performing.

Running order

First half

Remember not – Purcell

Lord, how long – Purcell

Schubert – Symphony no. 5

Second half

Send in the Clowns

Ave verum corpus – Byrd

O sacrum convivium – Tallis

Tahiti Trot

As Torrents

The Shower

The Blue Bird

Moon River

The Pink Panther