Wonderful evening yesterday at St Paul’s Church, Clacton, Essex, where, a mere few steps away from the sea itself, Clacton Choral Society’s performance of Elgar’s SEA PICTURES took place. This version of it arranged by Chris Phelps for chorus was a sheer revelation, something to cherish almost as a new work. I was blown away, not by the St. Jude storm, but by this exciting one-off experience, never to be forgotten. The choir, as ever, continues to fulfil its wonderfully cumulative promise that I have written about before.
But I must also mention the organist, Stephen Smith, whose keyboard instrument was in itself a revelation, with a possible tinge of the Wurlitzer, and it was absolutely perfect in the accompaniment of the Elgar Sea Pictures. He also played, rousingly as well as with stunning uniqueness, Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance no. 4 and – as an inspiring audience-interactive encore – no. 1.
There was much other music: e.g. some of my favourite pastoral moments with Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Quilter… I love the line “My love’s an arbutus”!
And, although I am not usually keen on Rutter’s music, I enjoyed his stirring FEEL THE SPIRIT.
And I admired the sensitivity, skill and professionalism of:
Gillian Dulieu – Musical Director
Elaine Henson – contralto
Glenn Relf – percussion
Peter Thorne – piano
Paul Siddall – church organ
Tess Lavender – clarinet
Francesca Dulieu – flute
Sylvia Canning – soprano
Well, the whole event couldn’t be faulted, and even the few extraneous firework noises outside the church seemed to add either an ‘Avant Garde’ edge or a music-at-all-costs-‘wartime’-spirit, depending on your mood!
Three of my own Sea Pictures from around Clacton shown above.