Concert: 5th October 2019: Handel, Haydn & Malabar

Press Release:

The new Season for Isle of Wight Cantata Choir opens with an exciting concert at Medina Theatre at 7:30pm on Saturday 5th October 2019.

Handel’s Four Coronation Anthems and Haydn’s Mass ‘in time of war’ are featured. Local musician, Clive Malabar has composed a piece for the choir – a setting of lovely lyrics ‘Silent Stars’. The performance will be accompanied by many local orchestral players.

The famous ‘Zadok the Priest’ is one of the Four Coronation Anthems, often sung at Coronations and other state occasions. It is a rousing chorus with an impressive introduction from the orchestra; it really builds the drama to the first choral entry which explodes onto the senses.

Working with a living composer is a great privilege and we are delighted that Clive Malabar will be in the audience to hear the first performance of ‘Silent Stars’.

The concert concludes with Haydn’s Mass ‘in time of war’. It is an impressive piece with contrasting movements, both in tempo and dynamics, and we are joined by 4 soloists, many of whom have sung with the choir previously and we welcome them back to the Island.

Tickets can be purchased from Medina Theatre’s website on:

Don’t miss our next concert – a collection of Christmas Carols and seasonal pieces on Sunday 8th December 2019 at 3:00pm at Ryde Methodist Church, 14 Garfield Road, Ryde PO33 2PT.


Post Concert Message:

THANK YOU, to everyone who made this evening’s concert a success:

To Rachel Tweddle our inspirational and utterly awesome Musical Director…
To Richard Wilkins our patient and versatile Rehearsal Accompanist…
To our fabulously talented Professional Soloists: Jessica Broad, Kate Warshaw, Edward Ross and David Le Prevost…
To the wonderful Handel, Haydn and Malabar…
To the superb Musicians of the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra…
To our dedicated and ever-cheerful Committee team…
To our amazing support crew of Helpers, Fixers and Suppliers…
To our generous Audience, Contributors, Patrons and Friends…
And not least – To our amazing, steadfast and enthusiastic Choir members.

Concert Review:

The Medina Theatre was sadly only half full on Saturday October 5th for an enterprising and successful concert by the Cantata Choir, under their Musical Director Rachel Tweddle, in which the 18th Century met the 21st.

A spirited rendition of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ made an ideal opener, followed by the other anthems he wrote for the Coronation of George II.

In these, and in Haydn’s ‘Mass in Time of War’, which filled the second half of the concert, the choir sang with confidence, though at times they were rather overpowered by the orchestra.

There were many memorable moments, aided by well-blended singing from the quartet of soloists, with notable solos from soprano Jessica Broad and bass David le Prevost, and in the Handel bright, soaring lines from lead trumpeter Gareth Balch.

The Haydn Mass, as its title suggests, provides dramatic contrasts between martial trumpets and drums and more lyrical passages, and the dance-like conclusion brought the concert to a very satisfying end.

However, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the first performance of island composer Clive Malabar’s ‘Silent Stars’, specially commissioned by the choir. Inspired by a verse from Psalm 19, ‘The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, the skies proclaim the works of His hands’, the piece evokes the experience of looking up to the majesty of a clear night sky, with a message of praise, purpose and hope. The choir clearly enjoyed singing this attractive piece, there were many lovely details in the orchestration, and the audience responded with appropriate enthusiasm.

Charles Paterson