A QuaranTune with a German Connection

Second alto, Edna, introduces our fourth QuaranTune, AbenLied by Josef Rheinberger. Did hearing us sing in her native German encourage her to join us?

Abendlied (Evening song), is a sacred motet for a six-part mixed choir (SSATTB). It is regarded as Rheinberger’s best-known sacred composition, with the first version written in 1855 when he was just 15.

The original text and a translation are as follows:

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget.

Bide with us, for evening shadows darken, and the day will soon be over.

This live recording was made at Reading Town Hall in May 2015.

A surprising QuaranTune choice

This third QuaranTune has been picked by Alice, one of our first sopranos. She has chosen If Ye Love Me by English composer Thomas Tallis, despite it being a piece that only features our tenors and basses!

If Ye Love Me is a four-part setting of a passage from the Gospel of John. It was first published in 1565 during the reign of Elizabeth I. The lyrics are as follows:

If ye love me
Keep my commandments
And I will pray the Father
And he shall give you another comforter
That he may ‘bide with you forever
E’en the spirit of truth

This gorgeous recording was made live at our concert at St Clement Danes, London in January 2014.

Our second QuaranTune is a popular choice

Our second QuranTune is Soneto de la Noche by Morten Lauridsen.

Pablo Neruda’s stunning love poem provides the inspiration for this passionate second movement of Lauridsen’s song cycle, Nocturnes.

It was a popular choice, suggested by both bass Phil and soprano Helen. The video starts with them sharing their written introductions and memories of performing this beautiful piece and is followed by a translation of the Spanish words.

This recording was filmed at Santuario de la Peregrina, Sahagún during our tour to Spain in April 2018.

Welcome to our first Virtual Concert

On Saturday 13 June, we were due to be performing a Joint concert in Twyford with Jewel Tones.

Instead, we invite you to join us for a programme of recordings (by a wide range of choirs) of the pieces that would have been performed by the two choirs at this concert.

You can view this below, or on YouTube.

The programme is as follows:

RPC

  • Libera Nos – Sheppard
  • Alleluia Ascendit Deus – Byrd
  • God be in My Head – Rutter
  • Coelos Ascendit Hodie – Stanford
  • Nunc Dimittis – Holst
  • O Oriens – McDowall
  • The Music of Stillness – Hagenberg
  • Wide Open Spaces – Quartel
  • The Bare Necessities – Gilkyson, arr Hare

Jewel Tones

  • Hallelujah, Get happy – arr Gilpin
  • Astonishing from Little Women – arr Brymer
  • The wayfaring stranger – arr Gilpin
  • Flying free – Don Besig

Joint Piece

  • Sing – Pentatonix, arr. Brymer

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up to date with all our virtual performances and recordings.

Current Chair Lorna shares her QuaranTune

Our first QuranTune is O Magnum Mysterium by Spanish Renaissance composer Cristobal de Morales. It is introduced by Lorna, the current Chair of the choir.

A translation of the lyrics is as follows:

O great mystery and wonderful sacrament
that even the animals saw
the new-born Lord lying in a manger.
Blessed Virgin, whose womb was worthy to bear our Lord Christ.
Lord, I heard your speech and was afraid:
I considered your works, and became frightened
as if I am between two beasts.

This recording was filmed at Santuario de la Peregrina, Sahagún during our tour to Spain in April 2018.

Not long to go now

If you are a young composer aged 16 to 24 then you have until Tuesday 30th June to send in your entry for this year’s Walter Hussey Composition Competition.

All you need to do is simply send an electronic score along with a digital music file (e.g. a pdf of the score and an mp3 of the music) to info@walterhussey.com.

Reading Phoenix Choir have been busy during lockdown trying to keep ourselves in the best shape for whenever we are able to perform together again.  It’s not the same but we have been having regular rehearsals via Zoom (as well as virtual pub quizzes!) and we have also recorded a backing track for the West Berkshire Virtual Community Choir so that they could perform I’d like to Teach the World to Sing.  To hear the results visit . . .

https://vimeo.com/410976196/b8bd58dde1

Reading Phoenix Choir have also been busy converting their fantastic display at the Reading Museum into a virtual display.  This can now be viewed online at . . .

https://www.readingphoenixchoir.com/virtual-museum-display/

If you go to the Museum Display section then you can read about the 2018 Walter Hussey Composition Competition, and if you go to the Audio Box section then you will be able to hear our recording of the winning entry Golden Day by Gerson Batista!