Concerts

Songs of Mourning, Songs of Faith and Joy

Saturday 27th April 2019 - 3pm
St Bartholemew's Church, Winchester

Songs of Mourning, Songs of Faith and Joy

This programme of songs for voice and guitar takes the listener on an emotional journey spanning four hundred years of music.  It begins with the exquisitely beautiful repertoire of songs written in the English Renaissance expressing melancholy and grief, a tradition that reached its peak in the lute songs of John Dowland.  His contemporary Coprario (an Englishman who changed his name to suit the fashionable Italian style), wrote his Songs of Mourning to poems by the composer and poet Edmund Campion, lamenting the death of Henry Prince of Wales, eldest son of James I.  As the programme moves into the twentieth century, the mood turns from grief towards spiritual consolation.  A verse from Psalm 126 ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy’ marks this turning point in Ailsa Dixon’s Songs of Faith and Joy, written as a counterpoint to Coprario’s lute songs, and first performed alongside them.  Speaking across the centuries, these composers share a sense of the power of the human voice – in the words of the Elizabethan composer Thomas Morley - to ‘express their words with devotion and passion whereby to draw the hearer, as it were, in chains of gold by the ears to the consideration of holy things.’

Emily Gray  (mezzo soprano) has performed as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, St. Paul's, Kings Place, and the Purcell Room, and sung live on BBC Radio 3's In Tune. She began her singing career early as BBC Choir Girl of the Year in 2000, which led to solo recordings on the Naxos and Chandos labels.  Since graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire she has won many prizes, and is increasingly in demand for roles in opera.  In concert with her recital partners (on piano or guitar), Emily’s serene intensity and vocal clarity make her a compelling performer.
 
Gerard Cousins  (guitar) has played in festivals and concert halls around the world, from the Purcell Room in London to Europe, South America and the Middle East. He has released four CDs, and his performances have been featured on Sky Arts TV, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.  He is also a composer, and is known for his transcriptions and adaptations for guitar of contemporary classical works from Eric Whitacre and John Tavener to Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich, and for his arrangements of traditional songs from his native Wales.  Gerard has been hailed by reviewers as ‘a rare guitar player. A master of the classical idiom and the range of techniques which it demands.’

Tickets £10 + £1 per ticket booking fee (capped at £5 per transaction)
Tea and cake will be served after The Concert.

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When & Where

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St Bartholemew's Church
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Saturday, 27 April
15:00