Minimalism in Bristol

Saturday 11th February was the day of our concert at St. George’s Bristol. The venue was splendid – a beautiful old church refurbished as an amazing music venue. It is blessed with the perfect acoustic for our programme of music.

The concert was opened by a short talk from Jonathan Cross, setting the scene by informing everyone what Continue Reading

A Weekend in the Real World

It is always interesting to be involved with something right from the start and when that something is creative, you have the privilege of experiencing not just the outcome of the endeavour but the work that has given rise to that outcome.

Before Christmas we were contacted by John Featherstone‘s wife Mary and asked if we would record a new work which he had written.  The work is a setting of the Te Deum which John has had on his bucket list for many years and asks for 3 choirs singing in different languages and styles. We were to be the more traditional sound, singing in Latin, alongside a Gospel/Jazz choir singing in English and a quartet of soloists singing in French. Having recorded at Real World Studios in Box last year, we suggested it as a wonderful place to record and a convenient venue for us.  Happily the plans all came together and we prepared Continue Reading

Jingle all the way…

hayleyAnd what a way to end Camerata’s 2016! Last weekend’s concert was fun, festive and full of heart. Bath’s Christ Church was wonderfully cosy and welcoming, providing the perfect setting for our Christmas programme. And with a fantastic audience of friends, family and fans, Christmas was definitely in the air.

The first half began with a rousing rendition of Jake Runestad’s Alleluia. Deciding to perform (and clap) this from memory, our conductor certainly kept us on our toes. A selection of contemporary favourites followed, from the poignant and beautiful to the joyful and energetic. Particular highlights have to be Britten’s A Hymn to the Virgin (well done to the stunning quartet), and of course Hakim’s offbeat and Continue Reading

Mince Pies

Mince Pies in Botley

626347_fc807b6dOn an inauspicious, damp December Saturday, Camerata had the delight of once again singing to a capacity audience in the historic village of Botley, Hampshire. Despite arriving dripping and cold, the concert goers were clearly eager for a good evening’s entertainment. 

Our hosts were generous in their hospitality and very warm in their appreciation. We were provided with a fantastic “tea” between rehearsal and performance with cold meats, cheeses and spectacular salads. Our illustrious conductor certainly enjoyed several mince pies and we were even allowed mulled wine in the interval (but only one glass of course!).  Continue Reading

Happy Birthday to Us!

What a fun weekend that was!  A Gala concert in the glorious Pump Room and a jolly Sunday lunch with old friends seemed to me to be a very fitting way for us all to celebrate our 30th birthday.  The only disappointment being the lack of one Maestro Perrin, who was otherwise occupied under the surgeon’s knife in an operation he’d been waiting to have for a while and didn’t want to postpone.  But I think we did him and Ben, our new Maestro, proud on Saturday night, and our large and appreciative audience seemed to think so too.

Plans for this special concert had been brewing for a long time – years, in fact.  It’s not the type of event you can throw together at the last minute!  And the programme of music we sang was carefully chosen, with everyone contributing ideas and nominating a piece that reflected ‘Bath Camerata’ to them.  After much tweaking and swapping of songs the final programme was agreed, and it not only included pieces that were sung in our first year, but works that have marked Continue Reading

Dixit, Dixit

Two performances of Handel’s “Dixit Dominus” in March and April made for an exciting spring for Bath Camerata.  The Good Friday concert at Wells Cathedral was the first of these traditional concerts to be conducted by Benjamin Goodson, who was at first perhaps disappointed with the acoustic during our rehearsal and then much pleased when the huge audience tempered the acoustic and allowed the Dixit Dominus to proceed at a goodly pace.  We were lucky to secure the services of a highly talented group of young musicians called Medici who played on period instruments and made use of the ability of the Wells chamber organ to play in baroque pitch. The players joined us in the traditional cream tea between rehearsal and concert but unfortunately had to head to London after the concert, thus missing out on the new micropub experience at Just Ales.

Also on the programme for Good Friday was James MacMIllan’s beautiful “Miserere”, which has become a firm favourite of the choir and Continue Reading

Camerata at St Martin, 30 Jan 2016

Image1The mild winter weather held for us as we went up to London for the choir’s first ever — surprisingly — concert in St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Brandenburg Choral festival, now in its seventh year, is the brainchild of Bob Porter, London orchestral player and Guildhall School HoD.  Bath Camerata was invited to appear at the end of January. It was a quick set, just an hour, but it gave us the opportunity to road test a couple of works we were doing for Continue Reading

Psalms Volume III released

In-A-Clear-Voice-Front-Cover-250x248The CD of volume 3 of Stephen Faux’s Psalms project is released having been recorded in the summer and first performed in Bath Abbey on 24th September 2015. The CD entitled “In a Clear Voice” is available to order via the composer’s website.

Bath Camerata were delighted to be asked to record the choral numbers and to give the premier performance with Bath Philharmonia and vocal soloists.

The album is now available on Spotify.

 

Spirit of America – Review

Bath’s prestigious chamber choir chose to celebrate American Independence Day this Saturday with an all-American programme, and where more appropriate than the splendours of Bath’s Guildhall, built at precisely the same moment as our cousins across The Pond were fighting to cede from the English Crown. Sir Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of George III looked out across the Guildhall audience as Bath Camerata took to the stage. He would hardly have approved of Continue Reading

Wells on Good Friday

Wells on Good Friday

Bath Camerata - Wells Cathedral“Oh,” said Emma, “the weather will be fine. In the last twenty years, it’s rained only once on Good Friday.”  Fate duly tempted, April 3rd was grey and miserable, with constant drizzle. One was a little worried about the effect on the potential audience for Bath Camerata‘s Good Friday concert in Wells Cathedral. However, British phlegm kicked in and by 7.30 the cathedral nave was packed for this important and really rather significant concert.

Wells, like most cathedrals, is abuzz on Good Fridays, with three hour devotions, viae dolorosae and beating of breasts, interspersed with regular services. In between all Continue Reading