2019 saw the introduction of a new recital series taking place in Cathedral Hall on Sundays after the 11.15am Solemn Mass. The idea came from one of our Choral Scholars, James Farmer, who thought it would be a great opportunity to raise a little extra for the Choir Fund as well as give singers the platform for singing solo repertoire. The response from audiences has been extremely enthusiastic and we’re delighted that the series will continue. The summer recital series finished off with an ‘extra’ in the form of a joint recital by Ellie Martin and Alex Patterson, in a special effort to raise funds for the Lourdes and Paris trip. Audience member, Jane McDermott, reviews the performance.
Being a lover of music and singing in particular, I was very keen to go and hear two people sing who I’d heard are doing amazing things with music at the Cathedral in Nottingham. Alex Patterson and Ellie Martin put together a little recital after Sunday’s Mass on 23 June with Chris Foster as their accompanist, in order to raise monies to take their Cathedral’s Youth Choir to Lourdes in July 2019.
What an absolute musical bonanza! Alex, who I understood hadn’t sung solo much in recent days, sang a work he’d composed himself called ‘Songs of Innocence’. It was a Song Cycle in five short movements based on a poem by William Blake, of the same title. The lovely interchange between piano and voice reminded me of Benjamin Britten’s music. Alex performed like a regular soloist with a focused sonorous musical tenor voice. His diction was very good too. Ellie, an established soprano soloist (I heard her sing the soprano solo in Mozart’s Requiem some months ago and was very impressed) was a delight to listen to. She chose four pieces of music by Handel, Fauré, Schubert and Schumann, all sung in foreign languages, to display different moods and showing her ability to use her voice appropriately. What a pure, clear, bright soprano voice she has. I hadn’t heard Faure’s ‘Lydia’ before but loved her performance, and her Schumann’s ‘Widmung’ in particular.
Finally, the two of them sang the duet ‘All I Ask of You’ from The Phantom of the Opera. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance both individually and together. And I mustn’t forget Chris Foster who accompanied them very musically and appropriately.
The short lunchtime recital was a great way to spend 30 minutes on a Sunday and my friend and I weren’t the only people who thought so by the audience’s clapping at the end.