English Arts Chorale

2021-2022 Season No. 42

2020-2021 <<  2021-2022 >> 2022-2023

Scheduled Events     

Date Event Venue  
Sep 18th Open Singing Day on Mendelssohn's Elijah St Mark's Church, Reigate  
Oct 23rd World Première of Paul Carr's Four New Seasons, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Rutter St Mary's Church, Reigate  
Nov 28th Mendelssohn Elijah  QEH, South Bank  
Apr 9th Dvorak Stabat Mater     St Mary's Church, Reigate  
May 27th Rachmaninov Vespers St Edmundsbury Cathedral  
May 28th Paul Carr Into the Light St Edmundsbury Cathedral  
Jun 18th Tallis Spem in alium, Rachmaninov Vespers Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton  
Jul 2nd Tallis Spem in alium, Rachmaninov Vespers St Mary's Church, Reigate  


Season Overview

Our Open Singing Day on September 18th was a chance for singers to join us in exploring Mendelssohn's wonderful Elijah, possibly with a view to joining the Chorale in our performance in November in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank.

The postponed World Première of Paul Carr's Four New Seasons was finally performed in October in St Mary's Church, Reigate.

In April in St Mary's Church, Reigate, we gave a performance of Dvorak's Stabat mater, the work which we had planned to take on tour to Prague this year, sadly abandoned due to the pandemic. We were accompanied on the recently-refurbished organ by Jonathan Lilley, our regular rehearsal accompanist who is also the organist at Waltham Abbey Church.

In 2020, it was exactly 1,000 years since the foundation of the Benedictine Monastery in Bury St Edmunds by King Cnut, whose marketing department was clearly way ahead of French Connection's. In October we were due to join in the millennium celebrations, but the event was postponed and re-scheduled for May 2022. On May 28th together with members of Eye Bach Choir we took part in a concert in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, singing Paul Carr's specially-composed Into the Light. The concert was promoted by the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, and included Elgar's Enigma Variations and Vaughan Williams' Folk Song Suite. On the previous evening, by candlelight in St Edmundsbury Cathedral, we sang selected movements from Rachmaninov's Vespers in a quasi-liturgical context.

In another programme postponed because of the Covid-19 virus, we sang Thomas Tallis' forty-part motet Spem in alium, a belated celebration of the Chorale's fortieth season. Combined with other Tallis pieces and Rachmaninov's Vespers, we gave two performances, with the Ripieno Choir of Thames Ditton, in Thames Ditton in June and Reigate in July.


Open Singing Day on Mendelssohn's Elijah

Led by Leslie Olive

Venue  St Mark's Church, Alma Road, Reigate  RH2 0DA
Saturday September 18th, 2021





Four New Seasons

The World Première of Paul Carr's Four New Seasons, a re-imagining of Vivaldi's classic piece, with texts by poets including Housman, Whitman, Shakespeare and Rossetti.

Paul's re-interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons is written for choir and orchestra. Comprising four movements, each one commissioned by a choir close to Paul's heart, Four New Seasons sets twelve seasonal poems to music, with themes suggested to Paul by the atmosphere created by each of the four movements in the original piece.


Carr Ubi caritas
Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves
Finzi Prelude
Finzi Romance
Rutter Folk Song Suite


The English Arts Orchestra
Leader Julian Milone
Conducted by Leslie Olive


St Mary's Church, Reigate  RH2 7RN
Saturday October 23rd, 2021  7.30pm



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Mendelssohn's Elijah

 In 1845, the Birmingham Festival commissioned an oratorio from Mendelssohn, and in 1845 and 1846 he composed his oratorio to the German and English texts in parallel, taking care to change musical phrases to suit the rhythms and stresses of the translation.

The oratorio was first performed on 26 August 1846 at Birmingham Town Hall in its English version, conducted by the composer, and it was immediately acclaimed a classic of the genre. As The Times critic wrote: 'Never was there a more complete triumph  – never a more thorough and speedy recognition of a great work of art'.


Linda Richardson
Diana Moore
Greg Tassell
Gareth Brynmor John


English Arts Orchestra
Conducted by Leslie Olive


Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank
Sunday November 28th, 2021  7.30pm


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Dvorak's Stabat Mater

Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater, Op. 58 (B. 71), is an extended setting for vocal soloists, choir and orchestra of the 20 stanzas of the Stabat Mater sequence. Dvořák sketched the composition in 1876 and completed it in 1877. It has been characterized as a sacred cantata and as an oratorio, and consists of ten movements of which only the first and the last are thematically connected. Its total performance time is around 85 minutes.

The work was first performed in Prague in 1880. N. Simrock published Dvořák's Op. 58 in 1881, and in 1882 Leoš Janáček conducted a performance of the work in Brno. The work was performed in London in 1883, and again, in the Royal Albert Hall, in 1884, and thus played a crucial role in Dvořák's international breakthrough as a composer. In the 21st century the Stabat Mater continues to be Dvořák's best known, and most often performed, sacred work.


Conductor Leslie Olive


Olivia Boen
Miriam Sharrad
Mark Hounsell
Mark Saberton

Organ Jonathan Lilley


St Mary's Church, Reigate   RH2 7RN
Saturday April 9th, 2022  7.30pm


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Vespers in St Edmundsbury Cathedral

A performance of selected movements from Sergei Rachmaninov's Vespers, or All-night Vigil



Eye Bach Choir
The English Arts Chorale

Leslie Olive


St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Friday May 27th, 2022  9pm


Admission free


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St Edmundsbury Cathedral

As part of the Abbey of St Edmund Millennium celebrations, the EAC are joining with members of Eye Bach Choir and others in the first performance of a specially-commissioned work by Paul Carr, Into the Light.


Britten Fanfare for St Edmundsbury
Parry I was glad
Vaughan Williams Folk Song Suite
Paul Carr Into the light (World Première)
Elgar Enigma Variations

Tenor James Gilchrist

Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Leslie Olive


St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds
Saturday May 28th, 2022  7.30pm



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NB 18 June concert is at 8pm

Tallis and Rachmaninov

Thomas Tallis Spem in alium

Thomas Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis
Thomas Tallis O nata lux de lumine
Thomas Tallis In manus tuas Domine
Thomas Tallis If ye love me
Knut Nystedt Immortal Bach
Huw Morgan Night Prayer

Sergei Rachmaninov Vespers


with The Ripieno Choir

Conductors Huw Morgan, Leslie Olive


The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Thames Ditton  KT7 0LP
Saturday June 18th, 2022  8pm


St Mary's Church, Reigate  RH2 7RN
Saturday July 2nd, 2022  7.30pm


Spem in alium - more info ►    


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