Canticles and Candyfloss – Concert Review

St Peter & St Paul, Steeple Morden – 2004

Friends of SS Peter & Paul

The concert by the Vasari Singers in the Parish Church on 20 November was greatly enjoyed by an appreciative audience. The first part of the programme, Canticles, as the title suggests presented more serious church music and included works by Holst – Nunc Dimittis, Sir John Tavener – The Lamb, and Benjamin Britten – A Hymn to the Virgin.

The more light-hearted second part, Candyfloss, had a contemporary theme, with a selection of folk songs and well-known works by Scott Joplin – Weeping Willow, Frank Loesser – Sit Down Your’e Rockin’ the Boat, and Jerome Kern – Long Ago and Far Away. Whatever one’s musical taste, one marvelled at the wonderful voices of Vasari, which filled the Church with choral music of enormous scope, depth and clarity. Under their conductor Jeremy Backhouse, their performance was quite simply one of choral excellence, and was variously described afterwards as “stunning” , “magnificent”, and “the finest choral singing I have ever heard”. The singers’ sheer enthusiasm and pleasure in performing for us shone through, and the Church’s impressive acoustics certainly did full justice to their voices.

The Vasari Singers were generous in their praise for the hospitality shown them during their short time in the village. For our part, we enjoyed an evening of music which will long live in the memories of those present, and our grateful thanks go to the Vasari for coming to Steeple Morden to perform in our Church. Grateful thanks also to all who attended. We raised £500 for the Church Fabric Fund, an excellent result from a delightful evening.

John Cosgrove, Chairman, Friends of SS Peter & Paul

© Jeremy Backhouse