Oct 17, 2006, 5:04 PM
Post #1 of 1
The Warlock Singers will be giving the first performance of When He is King, for choir, soloists, organ, harp and trumpet, by Matthew King on 2 December 2006 at The Drive Methodist Church, Sevenoaks, Kent at 8 p.m. A repeat performance will be given at St Mary’s Church, Westerham, Kent on 6 December 2006 at 8 p.m. When He is King was commissioned by the Warlock Singers and was privately sponsored by the choir’s supporters and members. The Warlock Singers, directed by Graham Dinnage will be joined by Ian le Grice (organ), Karen Vaughan (harp) and Edward Maxwell (trumpet).
A new Christmas choral work by Matthew King
When He is King takes its title from the first line of Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock, (the pen-name of the composer Philip Heseltine) after whom the choir was named. This carol, in a new arrangement forms the central movement of the work. It is a substantial work comprising a setting of the mass, interwoven with new arrangements of six traditional Christmas carols, settings of poetry by Robert Herrick and a poem ‘Herod Speaks’, specially written by Alasdair Middleton. Matthew King has brought all these elements together to produce a very powerful work, to portray the true meaning of the Christmas story.
The Warlock Singers, founded and directed by Graham Dinnage, is a chamber choir based in Kent. Although only recently founded (2004), the choir has received high acclaim for its performances of British music of all periods, and been invited to perform for both the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society and the Peter Warlock Society.
Graham Dinnage said “Matthew King has achieved a remarkable synthesis of Carol and Mass in this inspired and deeply-felt work. At its centre lies Peter Warlock’s own setting of Bruce Blunt’s evocative poem Bethlehem Down, a carol that looks so searchingly beyond the naivety of the Christmas story towards the Cross and beyond. In this work the composer constantly interweaves carol and mass texts with effortless fluency, with the one constantly illuminating the other.”
“To be presented with such an exciting and rewarding work is a great compliment to the Warlock Singers, and I am delighted and feel privileged to be involved in its inception.”
Matthew King said, “Working on When he is King has been especially enjoyable for me. The Warlock Singers are a wonderfully committed group led with exemplary musicality by their conductor Graham Dinnage. I have always found working with them to be a rewarding experience because they always give 100%.”
About Matthew King:
Matthew King (born 1967) has established a reputation as a composer whose music is both challenging and attractive to performers and audiences alike. His work has been described as “music of distinctive beauty with disarming theatre sense” (Independent on Sunday), “exhilarating” (The Sunday Times) and “teeming with ideas…with a Reich-like jauntiness of rhythm and texture” (The Times). “King’s music is eminently approachable…some of the clashing rhythms and textural layerings are mind-boggling (Evening Standard). Recent commissions include the opera 'Hear our Voice', written in collaboration with Jonathan Dove; 'Kingswood Symphony' (commissioned by Wigmore Hall and Stour Valley Arts); 'A Season of Singing' commissioned by the North London Chorus and 'Eine Kleine Gigue' commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet.
Tickets for both concerts are priced at £10 and can be purchased in advance through the choir’s website http://www.warlock-singers.org or by telephone: 01732 866372.
Dr Vivienne Cox
Secretary and co-founder, The Warlock Singers