Cries of London Town
21 April 2018
St Mary the Virgin Church, Silchester
Hear the cries of old London Town
Join us for a musical spring evening featuring a wide range of secular and sacred music, across the centuries from Palestrina to Chilcott. The central works share one theme – “Cries of London Town”. This concert is in aid of St Mary the Virgin Church’s fabric fund.
Conductor: Ian Westley
Accompanists: Mary Westley and Liz Cooke
Guitarist: Ravi Nathwani
St Mary the Virgin Church
Cries of London Town – Orlando Gibbons
Gibbons’s work was an elaborate, polished exemplar of an entire genre of works collecting and interweaving cries and songs of London’s peddlers and beggars. Beginning with the nightwatchman’s call marking 3 o’clock in the morning, Gibbons laces the score with an entire day’s worth of calls: vendors selling fish, fruits, ink, lace, and clothing; a ratcatcher plying his trade; a man in search of a lost horse; a chimney sweep; a patient begging on behalf of the mad inmates of Bedlam. At the end the watchman returns, heralding midnight.
Songs and Cries of London Town – Bob Chilcott
The driving force for this piece is 5 poems – the first Come buy and last Good morrow! are poems for street cries. They were both originally set by Orlando Gibbons. These encompass The Flower of Cities all, London Bells and Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 written by William Wordsworth.
European Sacred music
The first half of the programme opens with some renaissance sacred music. Palestrina’s familiar Sicut cervus is followed by Viadana’s Exsultate justi. Bach’s O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht along with Faure’s Cantique de Jean Racine.
In the mood
A selection of popular classic songs arranged for choir including Begin the Beguine, I got rhythm, Over the rainbow and S’wonderful.