West Dorset choir to perform in Thorncombe church

The Cantamus Choir (photo by Maisie Hill)

WEST Dorset choir Cantamus will give a concert of songs for summer at St Mary’s Church in Thorncombe on Saturday, July 14.

The programme is called ‘Sumer is icumen in’ after the joyous song of the same name that opens the concert. Composed in the mid-13th century and sung in the form of a round, it is the oldest English song to have been written down, but it still sounds magical and fresh to 21st century ears.

The first half of the concert continues with two songs from the reign of Henry VIII – ‘Ah Robin’, by William Cornysh, and ‘Pastime with good company’, by the king himself – and the gorgeous ‘Lamento della Ninfa’ (Monteverdi), with a soprano solo sung by Phoebe Goodfellow. ‘Come heavy sleep’ and ‘Can she excuse my wrongs’ (Dowland) follow before the first half concludes with ‘Welcome to all the pleasures’ by Purcell.

The second half begins with ‘Ständchen’ (Schubert), written for women’s voices, two songs by Pearsall – ‘Great God of love’ and ‘Lay a garland’ – and ‘Water night’ by the contemporary American composer Eric Whitacre. Traditional folk songs ‘Barbara Allen’ and ‘The ballad of Tom Bowling’ (arranged by Cantamus musical director Malcolm Knowles) follow, and the evening comes to a close with a rousing version of ‘Dance to thy daddy’, made famous in the 1970s as the theme tune to ‘When the boat comes in’.

The concert begins at 7pm and tickets are £10, including refreshments, available from Thorncombe village shop or on the door.

For more information, including full details of the programme, visit www.cantamus-dorset.org or the choir’s Facebook page.

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