Celebrating Benjamin Britten...
Celebrating Benjamin Britten
Preparations are well underway for the Britten Centenary Festival weekend which is due to take place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, from 1-3 November.
Each day of the Festival has a different emphasis, starting on Friday 1 November with a choral concert by the Rodolfus Choir conducted by Ralph Allwood, incorporating Hymn to St Cecilia, Hymn to the Virgin, Five Flower Songs and Rejoice in the Lamb by Britten. In addition the choir will perform works by Paul Mealor, including Praise, a newly-commissioned companion piece to Rejoice in the Lamb.
The second day of the Festival (a change to the previously published programme) has three parts. At 10.30 am Britten, the Words – readings and discussions of the poems, literature and texts used by Britten. Britten, the Music follows at 2.30 pm with a song recital by John Graham-Hall (tenor), Peter Davis (piano) and Sue Lawley (speaker). The day concludes at 8.30 pm with Britten, the Man, a soiree of music and chat (preceded by a reception in the Cathedral Refectory). Guests include Alan Britten, the composer’s nephew and President of the Friends of Aldeburgh Music.
The final day of the Festival will include Britten’s music sung by the Cathedral Choir and conducted by the Cathedral’s Director of Music, James Thomas, at each of the 3 Cathedral services. The rarely-performed Fanfare for St Edmundsbury, for three trumpets, originally performed in the Abbey Ruins under the direction of Benjamin Britten, will be played at the 10am Eucharist.
The Cathedral Box Office is 01284 748720 or www.stedscathedral.co.uk/britten where full details of all tickets can be found. A weekend ticket covering all events is available priced £50. For people wishing to make a weekend break, The Angel Hotel is offering a discount of 20% on selected rooms (Tel: 01284 714007, quoting discount code ‘Britten’)