Choir of King’s College London & English Chamber Orchestra

Sunday 7 July, 6.00pm

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Choir of King’s College London at Thaxted Festival
English Chamber Orchestra at Thaxted Festival

English Chamber Orchestra image © Keith Saunders.

Joseph Fort directs Holst’s rarely-performed First Choral Symphony, a setting of verses by John Keats, in a world première of a new realisation of this compelling work.

Elgar: Introduction and Allegro, Op 47
Vaughan Williams: Flos Campi
Holst: First Choral Symphony, Op 41

We are delighted to welcome back the Choir of King’s College London following their memorable Thaxted performance of Holst’s The Cloud Messenger in 2022. One of the leading university choirs in England, the choir is again accompanied by English Chamber Orchestra, the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world.

Joseph Fort directs Holst’s rarely-performed First Choral Symphony, a setting of verses by John Keats. This six-movement work was composed for the Leeds Triennial Festival, and first performed there in 1925. It is presented here in a world première of a new realisation by Joseph Fort, for smaller forces than the original. This compelling work ranges from hushed chanting at the opening, through a lively scherzo recalling Mercury from The Planets, to a quiet postlude. This is a unique opportunity to hear one of Holst’s later works.

Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro demands great virtuosity from the orchestral players, and sets the scene for the early twentieth century works in this concert. Flos Campi, by Holst’s close friend Ralph Vaughan Williams, was first performed in the same year as the Holst work featured here, and features solo viola, string orchestra and wordless chorus.

Please note the earlier starting time for this concert.

‘The King’s Choir sing with unquestionable commitment and musical intelligence.’ David Truslove,

This concert is produced in association with Orchestras Live, and is sponsored by a friend of Thaxted Festival who wishes to remain anonymous.

Venue: Thaxted Parish Church
Tickets: £44*, £40, £34, £26, £16. Age 30 and under: £10
*Premium seating in centre front rows.

“[The Tippett Quartet] concert as part of the 2023 Thaxted Festival revealed a group of musicians of profound interpretative depth, and capable of traversing a wide range of repertoire.”
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“A positively life-enhancing performance of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love in English with reduced ensemble by Wild Arts…”
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“The performance was a joy … and the quartet brought out its sense of both structural and linear perfection.” Holst’s Phantasy Quartet Op 36 performed by the Tippett Quartet.
Colin Clarke, Classical Explorer
“The Tippett Quartet and Emma Abbate have performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet together many times. On this occasion they combined flawless execution with instinctive – and utterly engaging – musicianship.”
Claire Seymour, in Seen and Heard International.
“…this was a wonderfully enjoyable and engaging performance that really punched above its weight. The audience in Thaxted clearly loved it and were fully engaged, whilst this experienced reviewer was carried away as well.”
Wild Art’s production of The Elixir of Love, reviewed by Robert Hugill in Planet Hugill
“2 terrific concerts I heard with London Mozart Players.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
“I think Gustav is smiling down to see how his memory and that of his best friend and colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams are honoured by the expertly played pieces they both composed.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
“It's always the variety and quality which keeps me coming back.”
Thaxted Festival concertgoer
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