Winchester Cathedral, 2007:

Dear Adrian

Thank you and your singers so much for the marvellous singing on Ash Wednesday.  There have been lots of complimentary remarks about the sound you made.  I think a number of congregation were a little apprehensive about the fact that the Cathedral Choir were not going to be there, but came out feeling that the worship had been of a very high standard indeed.

Many thanks and I am sure we will be in touch again to ask you to sing here again.
Concert Review:

Lyndhurst Parish Church has been the venue for all three of Lauda’s concerts.  Conductor Adrian J. Taylor says the choir formed towards the end of 2000, “to perform both early and modern music, with not much in between”.

The audience was small, on this occasion, because of competing events.  But the standard was impressive, showing what a rich sound can be produced by only ten singers, and without accompaniment.  The music was mostly from the Italian and English renaissance, including an antiphonal mass by Orlando di Lasso, and Byrd’s ‘Ave verum’.  In order to alleviate the solemnity of di Lasso’s mass, ‘Drop, drop, slow tears’ by Orlando Gibbons was inserted half way through.  Antonio Lotti’s very special eight-part setting of Crucifixus, the middle section of the Creed, concluded the first half of the concert, with one singer giving a good demonstration of how to ‘perform’ when one’s breath has totally run out.

The second half consisted of only two works; firstly, Palestrina’s ‘Stabat Mater’, a very long motet; and, secondly, Herbert Howell’s Requiem, the only relatively modern work in the programme.  For many of the audience, it was Howell’s piece for which this concert will be remembered.

Once again, Adrian’s programme notes were as entertaining as they were informative: and his additional comments between items helped our understanding of what was going on.  Let’s hope there will be more such events, but with bigger audiences.