Ely Consort – In Memoriam

As the season of remembrance draws to a close Ely Consort blends the awe-inspiring melodies of Rachmaninov’s All-night vigil into a programme of choral music that brings a message of hope for the future.
The magnificent setting of the Ely Cathedral‘s Lady Chapel is sure to enhance the mood.
The concert includes the world premiere of the choir’s specially-commissioned work ‘Hope’ is a thing with feathers by the Canadian composer Sarah Quartel.
2018 is a year of anniversaries. Historically, of course, November 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, and two important composers also have anniversaries this year: Sergei Rachmaninov, who died 75 years ago in 1943, and Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, who died 100 years ago, just one month before the end of the war. Ely Consort’s concert in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral draws together these various strands to create a programme which not only commemorates the events and anniversaries, but also incorporates a theme of hope and reconciliation. Rachmaninov’s All-night vigil (commonly, although incorrectly, referred to as his Vespers) is one of the towering achievements in the choral repertoire. The rich acoustic of the Lady Chapel makes this the perfect place to hear this amazing unaccompanied music, with the choir divided into as many as eleven parts to create the most incredible effects and harmonies. (We will sing ten movements from the complete work). The First World War is directly referenced in our performance of David Bednall’s new work Some corner of a foreign field, which is an evocative and at times dramatic setting setting of three well-known war poems. Parry’s much loved Songs of Farewell were written towards the end of the war, when he knew he had not long to live, and this gives the music an added poignancy; we will sing three of the songs during this concert. In recent years, many choirs have enjoyed singing the works of the young Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, and we are excited to be giving the world premiere of a work we have commissioned Sarah to write for us. ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers is a setting of a poem by Emily Dickinson, which likens the concept of hope to a feathered bird that is permanently perched in the soul of each us, where it sings, never stopping in its quest to inspire. We will also perform Jonathan Dove’s incredible setting of Ring out, wild bells (the words of which come from Tennyson’s elegy In Memoriam) for double choir and virtuoso piano – this tumultuous work, which perfectly evokes the sound of the wild bells, ends with the optimistic lines ‘Ring in the thousand years of peace’. We hope that you will be able to join us for this evening of reflective, optimistic, and above all uplifting choral music.

Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
Come, let us worship
Blessed is the man

David Jepson: Do not stand at my grave and weep

David Bednall: Some corner of a foreign field
A Soldier’s Cemetery
To a missing friend
The Soldier

Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
Rejoice, O virgin
The six psalms
Praise the name of the Lord

Dove: Ring out, wild bells


Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
Having beheld the resurrection of Christ
My soul magnifies the Lord

Parry: Songs of farewell
My soul, there is a country
Never weather beaten sail
There is an old belief

Sarah Quartel: Hope is the thing with feathers
Premiering a brand new choral work commissioned by Ely Consort!

Rachmaninov: All-night vigil
Today salvation has come
Thou didst rise from the tomb
To Thee, the victorious leader

Tickets £15, u16s £5 available here soon or from ELY CATHEDRAL BOX OFFICE 01353 660349 (Mon-Sat 9.30am-4.30pm)


01 Dec 2018


7:30 pm - 7:30 pm

More Info

Read More
Ely Cathedral


Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral, Ely, UK


Ely Consort
QR Code