Axminster Church to host Armistice concert

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 19 October 2018

The choir rehearsing for the Armistice Concert. Picture:BRIAN McCONKEY

The choir rehearsing for the Armistice Concert. Picture:BRIAN McCONKEY

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Axminster and District Choral Society will perform works by Vaughan Williams

Soloist Harriet Mountford, Picture: CONTRIBUTEDSoloist Harriet Mountford, Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Axminster and District Choral Society will present an Armistice Concert on November 10 - the day before Remembrance Sunday.

Members of the 80 strong choir have been rehearsing two works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, who lived through both World Wars and was profoundly affected by his experiences.

He saw at first hand some of World War One’s worst horrors, and lost friends and relatives.

The main work of the evening is his cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, ‘Grant us Peace’, which he wrote in 1936, when the next war was beginning to look increasingly likely.

It featured in this year’s Proms season, one theme of which was the centenary of the Armistice.

Vaughan Williams took his texts from Walt Whitman - who had himself experienced the American Civil War - from the Quaker John Bright, and from the Old Testament.

It is a powerful work, beginning with a plea for peace, then moving through the horror and futility of war to reconciliation.

The soloists will be Harriet Mountford and Julian Rippon, both making a welcome return to the Minster.

The programme also includes the composer’s set of Six Choral Songs, with words by Percy Shelley. They are subtitled ‘To be sung in time of war, having been written at the beginning of the Second World War.

The Lark Ascending’, was composed in 1914 and has justifiably become one of the best loved works in the concert repertoire. The violin solo will be played by Nathan Broomhead of the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra.

The conductor will be Judy Martin, formerly Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin and well known to music lovers in the South West and beyond. The orchestral players are all professional musicians, drawn from across the South West.

The concert has the support of the Kilmington Branch of the Royal British Legion who will be represented at the event.

It takes place at the Minster, Axminster at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £15 and £12 from Archway Books, Church St, Axminster, members of the choir or phone 01404 881 838. For further information see website: www.axminsterchoral.co.uk

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