High in energy and rich in expression and range of subject matter, these three works for mixed choral and instrumental forces show contemporary British music at its most accessible and engaging. The massed forces of Bristol Choral Society are joined by a children’s choir – the stunning Bristol Youth Choir – and a solo soprano in Cecilia McDowall’s contemplation of the human lifespan and our place in the universe.
Bob Chilcott explores the sights and sounds of London through the ages, with the two choirs layering street cries, and piano duet and percussion tracking the changes of mood – from bustle to lyrical evocation – before the arrival of bells draws the work to a resonant conclusion. Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir explores associations between colour and harmony in a recent work originally designed for performance in the newly redesigned Aberdeen Art Gallery, where its three groups of performers were positioned on different levels of the gallery atrium. A solo clarinet initiates proceedings, and threads through the individual colour portraits to the final, rainbow-like zoom through the spectrum.