Cathedral Concerts with Sir David Willcocks
King of Kings - Holiday Handel
8 pm Saturday January 19, 2002
Handel Let The Bright Seraphim
Let Their Celestial Concerts
Hallelujah Chorus, Zadok The Priest
Scheidt A King Is Born
Bach Christians, Be Joyful!
Mozart Laudate Dominum
Mozart Coronation Mass
multiple choirs drawn from
Christchurch City Choir
Cecilian Singers, Jubilate Singers
Hagley Singers, Schola Cantorum
CBS Choir & Orchestra Leader: David Williams
Sir David Willcocks 1919 - 2015Nelson, January 2006
|Sir David began his musical training as a chorister
at Westminster Abbey, later winning scholarships to Clifton
College and King's College, Cambridge. After a five-year period
of military service, he was elected a Fellow of King's College
and Conductor of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society. Subsequently
he became Organist of Salisbury Cathedral, and later of Worcester
Cathedral, conducting the Three Choirs Festival. From 1950
to 1974, he was Director of Music at King's College and Lecturer
in Music and Conductor of the Cambridge University Choral
Society. From 1974 to 1984, he was Director of London's Royal
College of Music. He was Musical Director of the London Bach
Choir from 1960 to 1998. Under his direction, the London Bach
Choir, King's College Choir and the Royal College of Music
Chamber Choir made many recordings of great choral works
with England's leading orchestras. He was knighted by Queen
Elizabeth in 1977 and held honorary degrees from several
universities in the UK, USA and Canada. He died in 2015.
The Dream Of Gerontius - Elgar
8 pm Saturday January 18, 2003
Sir David Willcocks flew to Christchurch directly from London for
a week of intensive rehearsal of a work he has recorded and conducted
many times, regarded as a choral and orchestral masterpiece. Celebrated
ex-Christchurch tenor Richard Greager sang the central role of Gerontius,
with Howard Harvey as the priest and heraldic angel of the agony,
and mezzo-soprano Ruth Reid as an angelic guide through the after-life. Jennie Goldstein led the 65 players in an augmented CBS Orchestra, and Nicholas Dillon played the
The Dream gave full scope to the 120-voice Combined Choir which contained
singers who had travelled from as far afield as Auckland. Mocking devil's
choruses, triumphant and thrilling songs of praise, and celestial
vocal effects from three separate choirs made this a memorable work,
and its first performance in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
provided an integral connection to the fervent poetry of Cardinal
DVD & Video Concert Recordings Available.
A German Requiem - Brahms
O Praise The Lord (Chandos Anthem 9) - Handel
8 pm Saturday February 4, 2006
Again a Combined Choir of 120 singers with 60 players in an augmented CBS Orchestra provided an unforgettable experience to a packed cathedral audience. Soloists were Sue Densem, Franz Kney, Wally Enright and Howard Harvey. Harpsichord and organ was played by Grant Bartley and the orchestra was led by David Williams, with Ellen Doyle playing continuo cello.
Each work had been rehearsed in a previous week at a summer course in Nelson arranged by Carl Browning, who has
organised the annual visit of Sir David to New Zealand.
Sir David Willcocks celebrated his 86th birthday at the end of 2005. His remarkable talent and stamina was evident when he directed 70 singers at the Nelson course in two consecutive public concerts providing all cues and an immaculate accompaniment to each substantial work from a grand piano. In Christchurch, he conducted from a full score of the Brahms Requiem which had been presented to him in 1950 in grateful appreciation by the members of the Salisbury Choral Society.
DVD Concert Recordings will be available.
B Minor Mass Bach
8 pm Saturday 27 January 2007
Sir David Willcocks conducted a special Bach Choir & CBS Orchestra
The world's most experienced and highly regarded choral conductor, associated for many years with London's famous Bach Choir, returned to conduct his own meticulously prepared edition of Bach's greatest work. A packed cathedral heard a stunning performance.
Hear the Gloria