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.

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.

Ten years of Invitatione

June 4th 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of Invitatione’s first concert!

Singers and players at St. Vincent’s Church, Hull, on Saturday 4th June 2011

Our very first concert was performed at 1.00 on the Saturday afternoon of 4th June 2011. I was teaching at Hull Collegiate School at the time. The idea for the concert arose because some of the pupils and I wanted to create an opportunity to perform one of our A-level set works – Bach’s Cantata No. 48, ‘Ich elender Mensch’. We built the programme around this, selecting other music by Bach and Handel to go alongside the Cantata. The concert programme is shown here on the right.

The soloists for the concert were mostly pupils who were then attending Hull Collegiate School – Robin Datta, Rachel Barnes, Charlotte Wills, and Anita Datta who played Handel’s organ concerto Op. 4 No. 1.

Most of the singers and players were pupils from Hull Collegiate School, students or ex-students of Hull University, and local music teachers.

The concert was such a success that we decided to organise a follow-up concert in the Autumn of that same year, moving from German Baroque to Italian Baroque, and the Invitatione project was underway.