Britten Advance Democracy
Tippett Five Spirituals from ‘A Child of Our Time’
Holst Choral Hymns from The Rig Veda – Set 3
Jonathan Dove Who Killed Cock Robin?
Judith Weir Storm
Parry My Soul, There is a Country
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
Part of 2020/21 season
Please note that finish times are approximate and subject to change
The London Symphony Chorus take to the LSO St Luke's stage in a concert of their own, and a survey of the breadth and beauty of English Choral music.
Britten’s rarely performed Advance Democracy, which opens the concert, was commissioned by the on the eve of World War II as propaganda. The poem by Randall Swingler paints a dark picture of the threat of dictatorship, realised with imagination and terrifying intensity by Benjamin Britten.
Tippett’s Five Spirituals follow, a suite of songs inspired by gospel, which he incorporated into his cantata A Child of our Time as moments of reflection. However, the Spirituals have taken on a their own life in the choral repertoire for their beauty and immediacy.
After characterful pieces by Holst, Judith Weir and Jonathan Dove, Hubert Parry’s ‘My Soul, There is a Country’ completes the programme. It’s a vision of a paradise ‘far beyond the stars’, drawn from his Songs of Farewell, which displays all the deftness and sensitivity of the composer who imagined ‘Jerusalem’.
Under the leadership of Choral Director Simon Halsey, the London Symphony Chorus has gone from strength to strength, attracting a wealth of local talent to its membership, and giving powerful accounts music from Haydn and Beethoven, to Bernstein, Janáček and Szymanowski. The Chorus return to the 2020/21 season on the back of a European tour with Sir Simon Rattle and acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.