Review Carols by Candlelight in Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral, one of the largest Cathedrals in the UK, is hardly the place where you would feel at home or intimate with the coziness of a family gathering, but Paul Trepte, Ely Cathedral Choir, Ely Sinfonia, Ely Imps and Jonathan Lilley achieved all of this in their fund-raising concert Carols by Candlelight on Wednesday 22nd December 2010. Resplendent in the Royal red, Paul managed a packed Cathedral with the warmth and friendliness of the best of benevolent managers. Clutching a candle given to us on entry to the Cathedral, we had plenty of opportunity to sing our favourite carols: Once in Royal David’s City, While Shepherd’s Watched, The Holly and the Ivy, Good King Wenceslas, See Amid the Winter’s Snow, and O Come all Ye Faithful to name but a few. Ely Cathedral Choir excelled themselves (as usual) with beautiful, sonorous performances of Bob Chilcott’s Nova Nova, Christmas Fantasia by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Carol of the Magi by John Rutter. James Rees, baritone, featured as a worthy soloist. The large choir of young singers, Ely Imps, gave events special charm with their fresh young voices singing Sing we then Merrily by William Byrd, I wonder as I wander by John Jacob Niles and Waltz of the Snowflakes by Peter Illych Tchaikovsky. Waltz of the Snowflakes was a charming picturesque piece in which Ely Imps were joined by the Choristers and Ely Sinfonia. The well established local orchestra, Ely Sinfonia, produced a light agile sound that supported the singers admirably. The performance of movements from George Bizet’s Jeux d’Enfants was light-hearted, energetic and rhythmically exciting. Jonathan Lilley accompanied with usual panache and as he dashed from organ to piano and back not a note was out of place. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Cathedral’s Christmas Charities (Guide Dogs for the Blind, Oliver Zangwill Centre, St. John’s Hackney and Link House) and the Ely Cathedral Trust. Contact: oofse@cathedral.ely.anglican.org

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