Adams To Elgar
Elgar Sea Pictures
Cassie To Songs of the Reef
John Adams Harmonium
Crouch End Festival Chorus
London Orchestra da Camera
Finchley Children’s Music Group
Jess Dandy contralto
David Temple conductor
Cassie To’s new work Songs of the Reef is a Crouch End Festival Chorus commission and is indeed a symphony of the sea. The piece explores the deterioration and resurgence of the coral reef, incorporating underwater sounds recorded by Marine Biologist Steve Simpson which are heard alongside the ‘live’ sound of choir, children’s choir and orchestra. The music is full of extraordinary colours and vitality.
Elgar’s Sea Pictures, performed by the young contralto Jess Dandy, includes the song ‘Where Corals Lie’ – a fitting link to the theme of Songs of the Reef.
The most substantial work in the concert is Harmonium by John Adams. Harmonium sets the poetry of John Donne and Emily Dickinson, ending with the words ‘…ahh the sea’.