CONCERT REVIEW: Fireworks from a choir set this November 5 alight

STARS OF HEAVEN: Divers Voyces, directed by Jeremy Jepson, performed a range of works appropriate for November 5 at Priory Church, Deeping St James. Photo supplied.

Divers Voyces, Music at the Priory, Priory Church, Deeping St James

A singing group educating an audience in choral music written between the 15th and 20th centuries might not seem the ideal way to see in Bonfire Night.

Knowing Priory Church as well as I do, I thought it would be quite a good idea to explore it by moving the choir round to sing in different parts of it

Jeremy Jepson, musical director of Divers Voyces

But the latest concert in the Music at the Priory series in Deeping St James saw Cambridgeshire vocal ensemble Divers Voyces put Catherine wheels, Roman candles, sparklers and rockets to music inside the village’s Priory Church.

Conducted by Jeremy Jepson, organist at Priory Church, Divers Voyces explored a range of compositions, including George Frideric Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks which was premiered in London in 1749.

The concert included works by Italian Renaissance composer Gioseffo Zarlino with O Quam Gloriosum est Regnum (O How Glorious is the Kingdom) and ex-Lincoln Cathedral “master of the music” William Byrd’s Justorum Animae (The Souls of the Just).

Jeremy himself took the opportunity to play a number of short organ pieces, including Thomas Weelkes’ A Voluntary, Herbert Howells’ Master Tallis’s Testament and an excerpt from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Magnificat.

But it was the sheer wealth of music that made this recital in the Deepings stand out.

Review by Winston Brown

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