Christmas Concert (Sat 16 Dec 1972)
- Lichfield Canticle (World Première): John Rutter
- Extracts from Messiah (Parts 1 and 3): Handel
Lichfield Cathedral, The Close, Lichfield, WS13 7LD [map]
Impressive Choral Work
“Lichfield Canticle, a special work composed by John Rutter, received its first performance at Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday.
Canticle is an impressive choral work of major proportions, inspired by the historical fact of the cathedral being dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Chad.
The work is built around the principal events of St. Chad’s life. With this piece John Rutter has added a significant addition to English choral repertoire. The music is contactable and the impact of such lovely sound is immediate.
Large forces are employed, a chorus excellently sung by the Lichfield Cathedral Special Choir; three soloists, Angela Beale, soprano, Charles Corp, tenor, and John King, bass; a boys’ choir and orchestra.
Four pieces for narrator, in this performance sensitively spoken by Leslie Brannan, make a succinct commentary that ties together the five Latin texts which form the basis of the piece.
Richard Greening, who directed this splendid performance built his diverse forces with a sure touch, and the music – so very English, and none the worst for that – moves to a thrilling climax, a Latin Antiphon for Easter Day.”in The Birmingham Mail, December 1972