Sunday, 25 November 2007

Newnham College Chamber Choir concert

Just back from a most wonderful concert in Clough College, where the Newnham College Chamber Choir sang mediæval carols most beautifully, interspersed with 5 readings of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Dr Daniel Wakelin who had translated it from (possibly) mediæval English. Fortunately the programme included a translation into modern English, so we could follow what he was saying.

Actually, I say mediæval carols, but in fact several were ancient words set by modern composers like Britten. Still most excellent, and a great thing to do on a winter Sunday afternoon.

I think this was probably the first concert I've been to where the choir was all female. Didn't detract from it one bit. I just loved it all. As evidently did the rest of the audience, which must have numbered over 100. There weren't enough chairs, and folks were standing at the back. The girls looked pleased with themselves, as well they might.


A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh, how this brought back our years in Cambridge - only there could you have such a Sunday afternoon. I used to sing with the College choirs whenever I could, and it was always a wonderful experience.Thanks, Rob.
regards, Margot xx

Rob Clack said...

For once, I can honestly say, it's a pleasure! Well, you know, hackneyed phrases and all that.

You're right, too, that it's a privilege to live here. To have concerts by Cambridge Taverner Choir, Cambridge Chorale, these guys and others, just happening around the corner, is fantastic.

Plus the dance, of course.

Anna said...

Never heard an all-female choir? Wow!

I'm in an all-female choir (along with the two other choirs, lol). It's rather fun. We usually sing SSA type stuff, but we have been known to take advantage of the two altos who can sing tenor as well (i.e. me, and Jen who is really a tenor who can sing alto... complicated!)

I think overall a choir with men sounds better though, because there's more depth and richness to the sound. Sure, a ladies choir has that sweetness and purity, but I prefer something a little fuller.

Similarly I prefer a mixed choir to a men-and-boys choir, because boys don't have the vocal colour that I like to hear from female sops and altos. Plus a girl/woman can train as a sop/alto for years and get bucketloads of experience of that part, and a boy usually can't.

But yeah... girl choirs are great. There should be more of them.

Rob Clack said...

Well, I knew such things existed, just hadn't actually been to a concert. I rather agree with you about the overall sound.