Jan 8, 2005, 12:51 AM
The Warlock Singers inaugural concerts were held on 21 and 22 December 2004 in Limpsfield and in Eynsford (where Warlock lived between 1925 and 1928). The concerts featured much of Warlock's evocative Christmas music such as the Corpus Christi Carol, Balulalow and Bethlehem Down, as well as carols by Britten, Leighton and Gibbs. The concerts received very high praise for "exemplary" performances with "strong professional tone" and were very well reviewed in the current edition of the Sevenoaks Chronicle (06/01/05) by Malcolm Rudland (Hon Secretary of the Peter Warlock Society for the last 30+ years) (pasted below) The choir is now being sought for professional engagements, and has plans to make recordings in the near future. Vacancies may occasionally arise in some voice parts.
High acclaim for inaugural concerts of the Warlock Singers
For details of future concerts or to enquire about joining the Warlock Singers please contact the secretary Vivienne Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Musical Director Graham Dinnage at email@example.com tel 01732 866372. The choir's website will soon be launched. Please check this site for a posting on this in the next couple of weeks.
Malcolm Rudland's review in the Sevenoaks Chronicle 06/01/04:
Legends are still retold today of the four years that the composer, Peter Warlock (1894-1930) lived in Eynsford from 1925 to 1928. These were perhaps the most creative years of his life, producing three versions of Capriol, and much of his well-known Christmas music.
It was therefore apt that Christmastime at St Martin¹s Church, Eynsford should host the inaugural concert of The Warlock Singers a new choir named after the composer. It was instigated by Graham Dinnage, a professional baritone, organist and director of other choirs in the region, and his wife Vivienne Cox in memory of her father, David Cox (1916-1997) a leading protagonist of Warlock who also lived locally for over twenty years. As well as being head of BBC World Service music (his arrangement of Lilliburlero can still be heard there everyday), he was also Newsletter Editor for the Peter Warlock Society from 1983 to 1993.
No documentary evidence exists that Warlock ever set foot in St Martin’s (he was more at home in The Five Bells), but had he lived to 110, he would surely have entered those hallowed portals on 22 December for an amazingly well-focused feast of his Christmas music.
Rehearsing is a cheese-maker’s barn in Crockham Hill, Graham Dinnage shaped two dozen well-disciplined singers to produce a well-balanced tone that could easily have passed off as a professional choir.
This was not only demonstrated in the vibrant energetic potential of Warlock’s music in the opening and closing Benedicamus Domino and The Sycamore Tree, whilst the haunting Bethlehem Down and Balulalow, with a beautifully delicate soprano solo from Lesley Berongoy, which showed that tenderness and pathos were equally available from this choir.
The rest of the programme had carols of Benjamin Britten, Kenneth Leighton and Douglas Gibbs, with some standards for the audience to sing, all ably accompanied on the Eminent electronic organ by Stephen Haylett.
Having witnessed Eric Fenby unveil the blue plaque to Warlock and Moeran in Eynsford on 3 May 1969, I am encouraged to find continuing local events to honour this local composer. Any local business contemplating sponsorship for some local cultural activity need look no further than the Warlock Singers. Just contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01732 866372.