An exciting vocal piece by local composer Alexander L’Estrange will feature alongside John Rutter’s Requiem and Bob Chilcott’s Canticles of Light in St Albans Choral Society’s next concert on Saturday 27 October at 7.30pm at St Paul’s Church, Blandford Road.
And the stones sing by 38-year-old L’Estrange (pictured below), who lives in Wheathampstead, is an energetic, colourful piece with words by singer and writer Adey Grummet about the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the glory, betrayal, shame and hope of the Passion story.
L’Estrange, a former boy chorister who studied Music at Oxford University and is a highly versatile jazz musician, composer and performer, says it means a lot to him that the work is being performed on his home turf.
“Although I'm from Oxford originally, we're happily settled in Wheathampstead, just up the road from St Albans, and we're hoping our two sons might be able to be choristers at St Albans Abbey in the next few years, so we're here to stay!” he says. “I can’t wait to hear the piece again.”
L’Estrange has won wide acclaim for his compositions, and is best known for his African/gospel cantata Zimbe!, which has been performed 100 times around the world. Composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall has said of him: “If you had to create from scratch the perfect 21st century musician, Alexander L’Estrange would be your template.”
The 12-minute piece is scored for soprano soloist, chorus, strings and percussion. Charlotte Mobbs will be the soloist, with Orchestra Nova under the baton of George Vass, the Society’s Music Director. Vass commissioned the work and conducted the premiere at the 2010 Presteigne Festival in Wales, where it proved an immediate hit.
“Together with John Rutter’s beautiful setting of the Requiem, the moving Canticles of Light by Chilcott, and Cecilia McDowall’s orchestral work Great Hills, this will be a wonderful celebration of contemporary music by four very approachable British composers,” said Vass.
Tickets are priced at £18 (£15 Concessions), £15 (£12 concessions), £1 children, and are available from SACS Ticket Line 07884 231958 or online at allaboutstalbans.com.