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Let The Sunshine In


Palestrina Exultate Deo

De Victoria Ave Maria (Cantor: Charles Ritchie)

De Victoria O Quam Gloriosum

Vivaldi Alla Rustica*

Alessandro Scarlatti Iste Confessor (soloists: Wendy Long, Ali Ross,

Marie Richardson)

Da Viadana Exultate Justi

Francesco Conti Quella Fiamma*

Alessandro Scarlatti Gia il Sole dal Gange*

Giovanni Pergolesi Magnificat in B flat

(soloists: Marie Richardson, Stephanie

Chadwick and Kristy Pattimore, Gesa Blackmore)

Pitoni Cantate Domino

Albinoni Oboe Concerto Op 9 no. 2*

Vivaldi Gloria

(soloists: Samantha Green, Stephanie

Chadwick, Gesa Blackmore, Kristy Pattimore)

*Solo performances by Eden Baroque Ensemble


Edward Taylor

Let The Sunshine In
Lawrence Tomlinson

Given their Concert title "Let the Sunshine in", the Penrith Singers with the Eden Baroque Ensemble, were committed, in their Spring Concert, to performing music that would brighten, lighten, and uplift the hearts of their audience, and that, it most certainly did.

Over Penrith Singers 45 year history, this is the first time that they have performed in the Methodist Church. Indeed, this is the first time that they have performed a full programme of music of the Italian/Spanish Baroque period, and with the most accomplished Eden Baroque Ensemble, for which the Church seemed perfectly suited.

The Choir sang several shorter, unaccompanied pieces. The first, Exultate Deo, by Palestrina, showed off the choir from its lively start with Sopranos, the other voices entering as the counterpoint flowed. Tenor, Charles Ritchie, was Cantor in Victoria's 'Ave Maria', a gentle piece with all four parts nicely balanced in their harmony. Indeed, it was good that in these pieces solos could be sung by members of the choir. In Alessandro Scarlatti's 'Iste Confessor', verses were sung by Wendy Long, Ali Ross, and Marie Richardson, accompanied by cello, double bass, and harpsichord.

Throughout the evening the choir would take a break while the Eden Baroque Ensemble performed. So we had a fine performance of Vivaldi's 'Alla Rustica' Concerto, in three short contrasting movements. If you appreciate the composer's Four Seasons' then you will be familiar with the style. Michael Sanderson, from the Ensemble, sang 'Quella Fiamma' by Francesco Conti' with his gentle baritone voice, so perfect for the idiom, and accompanied on the harpsichord, played throughout the evening by Katharine May, while he alternated with his singing and violin playing. He followed this with Scarlatti celebrating the glory of the sun sparkling on the river Ganges, accompanied by the full Ensemble.

Cait Walker explained to us something of the history of the development of the baroque oboe in the France of Louis 14th with its softer sound than the modern instrument. So we enjoyed her performance of Albinoni's Oboe Concerto No 2.

There were two more substantial pieces in the programme. First, Pergolesi's Magnificat in B flat beginning with full Choir and Ensemble. In the 'Et Misericordia' we enjoyed the singing of Marie Richardson and Stephanie Chadwick in a solo soprano part, and Kristy Pattimore and Gesa Blackmore in a solo alto part. The bass and tenors took the initiative, most ably, in 'Sucepit Israel', and powerful chords in the 'Sicut Erat in Principio' led to a bright fast moving finale.

Many in the audience would have found the final piece of the evening most familiar, Vivaldi's Gloria. The exciting opening requires a trumpet part, and so we had a baroque valveless instrument fulfilling the role.  The evening's performance was directed, as masterfully as ever, by the Choir's conductor, Edward Taylor, Assistant Organist and Director of Consort at Carlisle Cathedral. His very measured tempo of 'Et in terra pax' did, indeed, create that sense of eternal peace, all four parts gently interweaving, beginning, confidently, with the Basses, followed by Tenors and Altos, and the splendid Sopranos moving in waves of intensity.

Samantha Green and Stephanie Chadwick blended beautifully in 'Laudamus te'. Samantha was soloist again in the gently rhythmical 'Domine Deus'. In the 'Agnus Dei' Gesa Blackmore was accompanied on 'cello and harpsichord, commented on by full choir. Kristy Pattimore managed well a fast moving passage which needed some agility in 'Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris'. The final fugue of 'Cum Sancto Spirito' brought the evening’s most wonderful performance to a fitting climax.

The Penrith Singers does encourage young singers to join them. So Isabella Briggs was presented with a bursary award to help her fund her music and tuition.

This was a very special evening of music making, a highlight in the cultural life of Penrith.

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