“Music for Magna Carta” – Saturday 8th August
The Mayfield Consort from East Sussex gave an extremely enjoyable concert in St Oswald’s Church, Malpas, with a very varied programme comprising music ranging from Palestrina to Rutter. The organ accompanist was Michael Reynolds from Tarvin Parish Church. During the evening, there were also three readings of poetry and other texts related to the theme of the concert, which was celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. These readings were prepared and read by the Rector, Reverend Canon Ian Davenport. During the concert, a flute solo was performed by Oliver Smith from Abbey Gate College, Chester, performing two movements from a Handel flute sonata.
The following morning, the choir led the worship at the 11.00 am communion service, singing the Messe Solennelle by Louis Vierne and O Sacrum Convivium by Olivier Messian. The service ended with the Organ Voluntary Carillon Longepont by Louis Vierne, played by St Oswald’s Director of Music, Stewart Smith, who was the organist throughout the morning’s service.
“Music for a Summer’s Evening” – Friday 10th July – provided a treat for the large audience in St Oswald’s with a wide range of music being performed by the very talented 21 year old Peter Edge, a bass-baritone from Whitchurch, along with our own church choir, the newly formed St Oswald’s band and trainee organist Felix Gideonse. Peter opened the programme with one of his personal favourites Danza, Danza by Durante, followed by Bach’s Quia fecit mihi magna and Mozart’s tricky Se Vuol Ballare. We then had something completely different as the Church Choir sang two traditional negro spiritual songs: Deep River and the soulful O Shenandoah. Another change of mood followed with the first ever public performance by the newly formed St Oswald’s Band playing Cole Porter; expect to hear much more from them in the future!
Marion Randalls and her team provided welcome refreshments during the short interval after which Peter opened the second set with yet another change of tempo and a group of works which included his signature piece, the comical Captain Stratton’s Fancy by Peter Warlock. The choir demonstrated their versatility by performing Rachmaninoff’s Bogorodytse Dyevo in Russian followed by Philip Stopford’s very beautiful Irish Blessing.
Trainee Organist Felix Gideonse was then given his chance to shine, capably playing Leon Boellman’s atmospheric Toccata, whilst the audience imagined themselves seated in a large French cathedral – very “phantom of the opera”!
Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs brought the evening to a close, performed magnificently by Peter and the Choir.
The Rector thanked all the performers: Peter, for giving us such a rich and varied programme “a wonderful evening….just tremendous”; the choir, “how privileged we are to have such a wonderful church choir”; the band, for their splendid performance “the first of many”; and Felix, “you made the organ sing – thank you for all you have given us tonight”. Final thanks of the evening went to Stewart Smith for his “inspirational direction of music which inspires and encourages us all”. And so say all of us.
A retiring collection was made in aid of the Church Fabric Fund.
PRIMARY SCHOOL CONCERT
Primary School Choirs from Bronington, Tushingham, Malpas Alport, Shocklach, The White House and the Malpas Youth Choir raised £480 for Hope House Hospice in their concert at St Oswald’s on June 12th.