Saturday 25 March 2023, 7:30pm
High Street Methodist Church, Harpenden
Lili Boulanger - Hymne au Soleil (1912)
Jennifer Statham - Mezzo-soprano
Francis Poulenc - Organ Concerto
Gabriel Fauré - Pavane
Maurice Duruflé - Requiem
Laurens Macklon - Baritone*
Richard Hills - Organ
Conducted by Rufus Frowde
* We were pleased that Laurens Macklon was able to step in at short notice in place of John Holland-Avery, who was unfortunately indisposed.
The concert opened with Lili Boulanger's Hymne au soleil (Hymn to the sun). The piano accompaniment was played beautifully by Matthew Woodward and the Baritone solo was sung superbly by Laurens Macklon.
That was followed by Fauré's ever popular Pavane in a version for choir, piano and solo violin: the violin was played exquisitely by Sophie Poteratchi.
The first half of the concert ended on a high with a spell binding performance of Poulenc’s Concerto for organ, timpani and strings with members of the Paean Orchestra and Richard Hills on the organ. As ever Richard Hills gave a fabulous performance.
After the interval we were joined by the full Paean Orchestra, Richard Hills on the organ, with Jennifer Statham and Laurens Macklon to perform Maurice Duruflé's Requiem. This beautiful Requiem is his most famous piece, akin to Fauré's familiar setting in its sense of serene optimism, which together with our excellent orchestra and soloists, inspired us to produce a memorable performance, with which we can be well pleased. Jennifer Statham's singing of the Pie Jesu, accompanied by Jessica Cox, violoncello, was beautiful and resulted in applause at the end of the movement.
This concert was greatly enjoyed by the audience - with a few appreciative comments. "I really enjoyed the concert. It was such an exciting programme. The Durufle came over well with its contrasts." "...some real goose bump moments in the Durufle. Beautiful."