The focus of the night is the premiere of a new choral piece by composer and conductor Paul Spicer entitled Sound The Invisible Trumps. The piece is dedicated to the late Pauline Round, a former Birmingham Bach Choir President who died suddenly in 2017, and also Mike Lloyd, the husband of choir member Merryn Lloyd who passed away of Covid in the early days of the pandemic.
Generously funded by Pauline, as part of her will, each movement of the work uses a different poem for the libretto, including anonymous texts from the 12th century, and verses by Nobel Prize-winning Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, Walter de la Mare, and Pauline, who was an accomplished and respected poet. The title – Sound The Invisible Trumps – is borrowed from the opening line of the poem Break Of Morning by English writer, Walter de la Mare.
“Sound the invisible trumps. In circuit vast
The passive earth, like scene in dream, is set.”
Discussing the 23 minute work, which consists of seven movements, Paul says: “It’s essentially a ‘darkness to light’ theme, with the pandemic as the backdrop, and stands as a testament to this very moment in time of pandemic crisis, and to Pauline’s enduring and close relationship with the choir.”
Alongside the premiere, the choir will also be presenting Blest Pair of Sirens, Hubert Parrys’ setting John Milton’s ode At a solemn Musick; Gustav Holst’s Turn Back O Man; and three pieces by one of the greatest English composers, Vaughan Williams.
With 2022 marking the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams’ birth, the chosen work represents him at his best: the multi-part Five Mystical Songs, the beautiful Prayer to the Father of Heaven, and the thrilling anthem, Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge – which ends in a blaze of organ and trumpet.
Joining the choir for the concert is prize-winning baritone Ed Ballard, who will feature as the soloist for Five Mystical Songs.
Birmingham Bach Choir: For Those We Loved is at St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham, on Saturday 2 April 2022. For tickets and more information, see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com
Saturday 2 April 2022
Birmingham Bach Choir: For Those We LovedSt Philip’s Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB
Tickets: Central Nave £18 (concessions £16); Nave Aisles or Gallery £14
Birmingham Bach Choir
Conductor: Paul Spicer
Organist: Martyn Rawles
Baritone: Ed Ballard
Trumpeter: Mathew Hampton
- Lord, thou hast been our refuge
- Prayer to the Father of Heaven
- Five Mystical Songs
- Turn back O Man
- Sound The Invisible Trumps (Premiere)
- Finale from Suite for Organ
- Blest Pair of Sirens
About Birmingham Bach Choir
As one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the West Midlands since 1919, making it one of the longest established musical groups in the area. Although the main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), the choir performs music spanning over 500 years including 20th and 21st century works.
2019 was the choir’s centenary, a year which saw the choir make a series of special appearances, including a Gala Concert in Lichfield Cathedral and a performance for royalty.
- 25 June 2022, St. Paul’s, Birmingham
- 2 July 2022, Malvern Priory, Malvern, Worcestershire
For more details, see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com
About Paul Spicer
For more information about Paul, see: www.paulspicer.com
About Ed Ballard
For more information about Ed, see: www.edballard.co.uk