Review: Membra Jesu Nostri by The Wordsworth Singers, at St Bede's Church, Carlisle
Last updated at 12:54, Thursday, 29 March 2012
HAVING recently moved to Carlisle, I can, with hand on heart, say that the introduction to The Wordsworth Singers has been a highlight amongst the newness.
I was fortunate enough to be amongst the audience at a performance of Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, a work new to me, in the resonant and movingly appropriate setting of St Bede’s Church, Wigton Road.
The colourful paintings behind the altar depicting scenes from Christ’s life were the perfect backdrop to ‘a very personal meditation on the suffering of Christ’.
The piece often called the first Lutheran oratorio is exquisitely engaging in the perfect marriage of text with the vocal and instrumental writing. We hear wonderfully complex rhythms and spine tingling dissonances and resolutions.
This piece was given by musicians who were completely committed to it and who expressed themselves in myriad instrumental and vocal colours.
The instrumental playing was enthralling throughout, especially the dialogue between the two violinists, Anna Östberg and Katie-Bethan Holmes.
The solos and ensemble singing were at times moving in their elegant beauty and at other times affecting in their strength.
Particularly touching for me was the sensitive and refined singing of Julie Leavett and Fiona Weakley.
There were memorable moments of the most glorious sound and within the most complex polyphony were clear and rich lines.
The joyful final Amen was luscious, and exciting with its outrageous cross rhythms.
Mark Hindley led with a fine, understated subtlety. Organ solos by Sweelinck played by Mark gave space to meditate on the music and surroundings, bringing the singing into relief.
I left light of step, having experienced a first which will definitely not be a last.
First published at 11:06, Thursday, 29 March 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
- Public speaker Jess, 15, wows judges
- Officers set their sights on reckless fly-tippers (8 comments)
- Man tried to escape police
- Sellafield profits up – and so are directors’ pay packages (18 comments)
- What a difference 50 years can make
- What a Nisa new look!
- Mourner’s fight for last words
- Attack was ‘sustained’ and in front of children
- Dedicated teacher is nominated for award
- Fury grows over cuts to teaching assistants' pay (8 comments)
- Civic to re-open and new toilets? (9 comments)
- Rejected - plans for 79 Cleator homes denied (6 comments)
- Hotel charges Whitehaven couple £100 for bad review (2 comments)
- ‘You can’t imagine how good it felt’
- Man killed in A595 crash named
- Fight goes on despite office block refusal
- GPs ‘deeply concerned’ by hospital
- Let’s cut to the chase: Whitehaven is dying and action must be taken
- On-street parking charges for Cumbria scrapped (88 comments)
- MP criticises selection of staff chosen for review team (1 comment)