Every two years, Cantorum gives a “Valentine’s” supper concert of music in a lighter and more amorous vein than our usual repertoire.
This year’s programme saw choral settings of Gershwin’s ’S Wonderful, and Noel Coward’s Let’s Do It, as well as the simple yet very moving And So It Goes by Billy Joel. We sang, too, George Shearing’s ‘Shakespearean’ jazz setting of Christopher Marlowe’s Live With Me And Be My Love, which has been in our repertoire for some years. Conductor Liz Toye also made a more adventurous departure in programming Eric Whitacre’s setting of the Lorca love poem With A Lily In Your Hand – a demanding recent addition to our repertoire that the choir loves to sing. And a very sumptuous supper it was, with excellent food prepared professionally by Catherine Arnold, a member of the sopranos, and served to the audience at their tables by the choir. With all this, of course, the choir likes to let its hair down, and there were plenty of solos and duets drawn from opera, musical theatre and revue – some very witty. And a much appreciated barber shop session. The whole event was ably accompanied by Gillian Salmon (piano) and compered by David Hazeldine (tenor). Judging from the comments we received, the audience went home well satisfied, both musically and gastronomically.