~ Music from Africa in Ealing! ~

Ealing Concert On Saturday, 6th March the Abbey Choristers joined the Ealing Choral Society for an evening concert at St Barnabas Church, Ealing.  The concert focussed on an African theme.  The first half of the programme consisted of Five Negro Spirituals for the oratorio A Child of our Time written by the English composer Michael Tippett which included Deep River.  The Abbey Choristers then performed five pieces from Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoons, Op. 7, a series of early songs the composer wrote for treble voices.  The title comes from the circumstance of their composition. Britten wrote the pieces over the course of a couple of years for his brother Robert and the boys of Clive House School, Prestatyn. The choir practices took place on Friday afternoons. 

The second half of the concert was a performance of David Fanshawe’s musically ground-breaking African Sanctus.  Fanshawe wrote the piece as a result of his travels through Africa from the Nile Delta to Lake Victoria and from western Sudan to the Red Sea in the 1960s.  On the course of his journey he recorded the music of the people he encountered.  The African Sanctus is a unique piece in its use of these recordings of African tribal music within Fanshawe’s setting of the Latin Mass.  The result is a remarkable musical statement, which demonstrates the unifying qualities of music among different cultures.  The Abbey Choristers joined the Ealing Choral Society in a very memorable performance of the African Sanctus to a packed and appreciative audience.