Congratulations to Minerva Voices on a splendid evening concert last night, amidst the historic flint and sandstone walls of Canterbury Castle.
As the sun set, the ancient site rang to the sound of medieval plainchant as the performance opened with a Kyrie by Hildegard von Bingen, the long lines lifting and skirling around the keep and lifting into the blue skies.
As the programme unfolded, you could feel the audience draw closer to the music across the shingle area which separated the singers from the boarded walkway, around which the audience stood or sat. Assistant conductor Joe Prescott drew forth a tight-knit Ave Verum by Mozart and and sprightly O Swallow, Swallow by Holst, amongst other works.
The performance came to a dramatic conclusion with a militant Norwegian setting of the Song of Roland, with drummer Cory Adams positioned above the audience in one of the castle towers, stridently beating a decorative accompaniment that recalled the military nature of the castle’s history in vivid, echoing sound.
The Choir will perform next in the Saturday gala, Music for a Summer’s Day, during Summer Music Week on Saturday 11 June, and then as part of the Illuminating the Past day at the ancient pilgrims’ hospital, Eastbridge Hospital, as part of the MEMS Festival on Thursday 16 June. Still time to come together before the sun sets on the academic year for the final time…