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  • Spring Concert article for Parish Magazine
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 6 Apr 2024

    As the season of spring was unfolding in Bearsted, it seemed fitting that Bearsted Choral Society’s Spring Concert should celebrate not only spring, but all four of the seasons.

    The Society’s Music Director, Andrew Lowen, had interspersed a selection of pieces from Joseph Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ with Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ violin concerti. We were very much looking forward to hearing all four of the concerti played by the talented violinist, Floriane Peycelon, who studied at the Lyon National Conservatoire of Music and Drama in France and now lives in Kent where, among other music projects she is the visiting Violin Tutor at the University of Kent, has worked alongside the Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra and is director of the Folkestone Young Strings Orchestra.

    Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ is possibly less well-known than his ‘Creation’. However, the choir enjoyed singing the music which describes life in the Austrian countryside, from gentle spring to glorious sun, thunderstorms, hunting scenes, farmers drinking wine and even a playful song where a pretty maid tricks an unsuspecting squire. We were accompanied on the piano by Trevor Brearley, who conveyed thunderstorms, the joy of drinking the new wine and the welcoming of spring at the end of a long winter with his usual flair and enthusiasm.

    Alongside each of Vivaldi’s concerti was a sonnet (possibly written by the composer himself), which described the music Vivaldi had composed. Vivaldi had taken great pains to relate his music to the texts of the poems and one could clearly pick out his representations of a flowing creek, singing birds of different species, a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, frozen landscapes and warm winter fires! Our wonderful violinist, Floriane, was inspirational, describing with her brilliant playing the pictures painted by Vivaldi’s music. She was sensitively accompanied by either Trevor Brearley or Andrew Lowen.

    Under the superb leadership of our Music Director and Conductor, Andrew Lowen, the Choral Society is now looking forward to our next concert on Saturday 6th July at 7.30 pm. This will, again, be at Holy Cross Church, Bearsted and we would like to thank them for extending their hospitality to us for another concert. By way of a complete contrast, we will then be singing two Masses, ‘Midnight Mass’ by the 17th Century French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier and ‘Sunrise Mass’ by the living Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.

    Bearsted Choral Society would like to thank Andrew Lowen and Trevor Brearley for their continued dedication and service to the Society, for introducing us to such glorious music, for their encouragement and for making our rehearsals so enjoyable.

    Jenny Lovelock

  • BCS Summer Concert
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2024
    Plans are well advanced for our Summer Concert which will take place on Saturday 6th July at 7.30pm.  We will be performing Marc-Antoine Carpentier's Midnight Mass and Ola Gjelio's Sunrise Mass.   Charpentier's Midnight Mass dates from 1690 and the music is entirely based on jolly 17th century French Christmas carols.  The contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjelio writes in an enjoyable and approachable style and his Sunrise Mass is a journey from nebulous night to warm sunny daylight.  The venue for this concert is still to be confirmed.
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