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Precious premiere for choir

This Precious Earth Wakefield Cathedral Saturday, June 19th

FEATURING works from the Baroque period to the 21st century, this concert provided a widely varying programme of finely-crafted music and a rich experience for the large numbers who attended.

The Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir was in fine form as it performed with aplomb Vivaldi’s inspirational Gloria, while organ soloist Tom Moore was masterful on Poulenc’s mighty G minor organ concerto.

However, the highlight of the evening was the première of This Precious Earth, written by Jonathan Bielby to mark his retirement as director of music at the cathedral.

Based on children’s poetry and newspaper items, and inspired by man-made disasters, this work’s nine movements are permeated by an urgent call to action: save the planet before time runs out!

Woven from a rich musical fabric involving small orchestra, chorus, children’s choir, soloists and speaker, this thoroughly engaging piece scaled great musical heights as it pressed home its simple but stark message.

The symbolic use of marimba and glockenspiel was especially effective, but it was Lies Beijerinck’s improvisation on the didgeridoo with its deep, primeval tones that held me spellbound.

Soloists including baritone Ben Davies, QEGS Junior School Choir and the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir conducted by maestro Andrew Padmore combined to make this first performance a memorable occasion, earning composer and performers a well-deserved standing ovation.


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