A review of the Concert in St Davids Cathedral ~ Dec 2014

 Vivaldi Gloria & Bach Magnificat

“Your call is important to us. Thank you for holding” … and, oh no … cue Vivaldi. With his music so often dumbed down like this it was a treat to hear the real thing, his second Gloria, delivered by Cor Dyfed in a Christmas-bedecked Cathedral. And what an acoustic! Was it the cold night? Or the beautifully-balanced fusion of choir and Barry Haskey’s Menevia Consort? Or the vitality of Vivaldi’s music interpreted sensitively by Cor Dyfed’s Conductor Oliver Waterer? It was probably all the above that enabled the appreciative audience thronging St Davids to discern elements of the music often ignored when listening to a familiar work. This was an effortless yet sincere performance from the outset with the joyous opening ‘Gloria’ soon matched by sopranos Penelope Appleyard and Natalie Johnson-Hyde blending beautifully to caress the duet Laudamus Te. The interplay between soloists and choir continued, movingly augmented by the oboe in Domine Deus. Composer and contralto Susan Howley’s poignant interpretation of Domine Deus, Agnus Dei brought warmth to plaintive words … and then momentum built towards the climax of Cum Sanctu Spiritu embellished by soaring brass trumpeting the certainty of God In Heaven. Delicious. Some performers seemingly see Bach’s music as a challenge, as in how fast can it be played. Oliver Waterer resisted this temptation and, blending poise with passion, presented a thoughtful D-major Magnificat in the second half of Cor Dyfed’s Christmas concert. This is appropriate since the Song of Mary can be joyful without needing to break speed records. Indeed, the work took longer than usual due to the inclusion of the four Christmas Hymns taken from Bach’s E-flat major version of the Magnificat. Soprano and contralto soloists were joined by Jonathan Upfold (tenor) and Stephen Hamnett (bass), both adding new depth and meaning to the performance. There was plenty of light, shade, clear diction and dynamic variety throughout and so, again, we heard undercurrents in the music that do not often surface, especially when the singing was soulfully enhanced by cello, oboe or flute accompaniments … augmented always by Simon Pearce’s exemplary continuo. A slightly shorter transition between movements would have sustained momentum, and some extra volume from the whole ensemble would not have gone amiss at times. However, there is the other view that this might have run counter to the meditative treatment of some sections. But, whilst Mary had every reason to be thoughtful, her joy and radiance could not be suppressed and shone magnificently in the final two choruses: Sicut Locutus Est and Gloria Patri. What a wonderful beginning for the journey to Bethlehem.

Dick Russill

                       A CHORAL WORKSHOP TO REMEMBER

Tuesday 11th November 2014 was a day to remember for the Dyfed Choir, not only for its original purpose but also, perhaps fittingly, for a musical one. Peter Nardone, Scottish countertenor, composer, organist and choirmaster of Worcester cathedral, travelled to Pembrokeshire on probably the wettest night of the year, to help us with vocal technique, style and interpretation of Bach’s Magnificat. He did this in a number of ways, including pronunciation, diction, breathing and posture. However, perhaps Peter’s most useful tools were his humour and his story telling. He explained how Bach changed his style to match the history of the biblical text and he illustrated the various dynamic possibilities with reference to his own experiences of singing this work with the Monteverdi Choir – over forty times! (Peter blames John Eliot Gardiner for setting an unprecedented fast pace to the work that others have since tried to emulate)

The evening was a mixture of hard work and great fun, and Peter could justifiably add another title to his list of achievements – stand up comedian! At the end of the workshop he paid tribute to the choir’s dedication and achievement, and commented that he particularly enjoyed our smooth Welsh sound. Peter also credited our music director Oliver Waterer with great courage for handing over his choir to another conductor to rehearse an ongoing work, something many music directors would avoid. (So, thank you Oliver for arranging this for us). At the end of the evening, Peter was presented with a book of David Wilson black and white photographs of Pembrokeshire. Hopefully this will encourage him to return one day.


CÔR DYFED CHOIR  was founded in 1967 by John S Davies. Each year the Choir performs about five concerts, primarily in St Davids Cathedral, and also some fine local venues including Monkton Priory, Goodwick, Cardigan, Rhos y Gilwen (Nr Cardigan), St Mary's Tenby.  The choir is made up of approximately 60 choristers. Oliver Waterer is the choir's current Conductor and Music Director.

The Choir is always looking for new singers and if you think we are the choir you would like to join, you are welcome to come to a Tuesday evening rehearsal at Bloomfield, Narberth. Membership of the choir is by audition 

Please contact the secretary    rmliggitt@which.net  

Introducing choral music to young people is important to the Choir, and many concerts are free to under 16s when accompanied by adults.  


     Major Works performed by Côr Dyfed Choir since 1977

Allegri: Miserere April 03 Goodwick

Bach: St John Passion (in English) Apl 77/March 87 St Davids Cath.
(in German) March 2010 St Davids Cath.
Mass in B Minor Jly81/Nov 77 Fishguard Fest/St Davids
March 91/Jly 02 St Davids Cath.
Christmas Oratorio Dec 92 (English) --"—
17th Dec 05 (German) --“—
17th Dec 2011 (German) --“—
Motets - Jesu, Meine Freude --"--
Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden Summer 94
St Matthew Passion July 8th 2000 --“--
Jesu Meine Freude Nov 06 Tenby
Mass in G Minor July 85 St Davids Cath.
Suite in D Major July 85 --“--
Cantata No 4 July 85 --“--
Magnificat in D July 85 --“—
Dec 14 --“—

Bainton: And I saw a New Heaven Oct 94

Beethoven: Choral Symphony Dec 91 Aberystwyth Univ. Gt. Hall
Missa Solemnis Jly 93 St Davids Cath.

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms April 2000 Christ Ch Cath. Dublin
7th/15th July 07 Carlow/St Davids Cath.

Blackford Richard: The Mirror of Perfection Dec 7th 02 St Davids Cath.

Boyce, William: The King Shall Rejoice March 13 St Peter’s G’wick
Come Holy Ghost
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem

Brahms: German Requiem (in English) July 97? St D’s Cath.
Song of Destiny July 83 Fishguard Fest
German Requiem (in German) April 2011 Rhos y Gilwen

Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb July 87 St Mary's, F'gd
St Nicholas Dec 87/Jly 91 St Woolos/St D's
Dec 02 St Davids Cath.
War Requiem June 06 St Davids Fest.
Hymn to St Cecelia Nov 08 St Katherine’s, MH
Hymn to the Virgin Nov 08 St Katherine’s MH

Bruckner: Mass No 2 in E Minor Apl 89 St Davids Cath.
Motets - various Feb85/Oct 94/Apl 03 Goodwick
Te Deum July 82 St Davids Cath.

Mervyn Burtch: Gloria (1st performance)
Et in Terra Pax Nov 78 Fishguard

Buxtehude: Magnificat July 14 St Davids Cath.

Cadwyn Cycle July 06 St Davids Cath.

Casals: O Vos Omnes April 03 Goodwick

Charpentier: Messe de Minuit Nov 90 Llanelli
May 91 Newport (P)
Dec 07 St Davids Cath.
Dec 09 Llanelli

Chilcott, Bob: Two songs March 08 Rhos y Gilwen
Jubilate July 10 St Davids Cath.
Croft, William: The Lord is a Sun and a Shield March 13 St Peter’s G’wick

Dering: Factum est silentium Jly 14 St Davids Cath.

Duruflé: Requiem March 88 Cardiff/St Davids
Summer 94 St Davids Cath.
Nov 99 St Mary’s,Cardigan
Nov 06 St Mary’s,Tenby
Oct 10 St Mary’s,Tenby

Dvorak: Mass in D Aug 90/Oct 92 St D’s/St Mary’s, F’gd
Mar 93/Sept 93/Oct 95 St D's/Prague
April 05 St Martins, H’west
Stabat Mater Jly 92 St Davids Cath.
Apl 95 Llandaff Cathedral
Oct 98 Smetana Hall, Prague
Dyson: Mag/Nunc in F

Elgar: Give unto the Lord Hereford Cathedral
Te Deum and Benedictus (and) Sept 95 Merlin Theatre
The Spirit of the Lord Feb 87/Easter 93 Bethany, P/Dock - St D's
Ave Verum (recording in St D’s Cath.)
Ecce Sacerdos
The Music Makers July 84 Fishguard Fest

Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine Jun 87 St Mary’s,Tenby
Feb/May 87/Oct 94 Bethany/Npt(P) St Mary's H'west
Requiem May 87&94/Sept 96 N’pt Pembs/Tenby
Easter 02 Monkton Priory
Easter 15 St P’s Goodwick

Finzi: Lo, the full final sacrifice Oct 86 St Mary's Cardigan
July 87/ St Mary's Fishguard
Sept 96 St Mary's Tenby
Mar 12 St Martin’s H’west

Grieg: Ave Maris Stella

Gounod : St Cecilia Mass July 80 Fishguard Fest
July 82 Brangwyn Hall

Handel: Chandos Anthem No 9 Jly 88 St Davids Cath.
Jephtha Jly 90/ St Davids Cath
Feb 94 St John’s Smith Sq.London
Messiah Easter 81
June 83 Cardigan Eisteddfod
July85/Apl 83 Fish.Fest/St D’s Hall, C’diff
Dec 92 Brangwyn Hall
Dec 01 St Martin’s, H’west
Dec 06/08 St Davids Cath.
Dec 13 St Davids Cath.
Zadok the Priest June 87 St Mary's Tenby
May87/Nov 95/July 96/Oct 10 N’pt(P)/Pembs Coll.
St Davids/Tenby
The King Shall Rejoice July 96/Oct 10 --"—/---“---
Four Coronation Anthems July 01 St Davids Cath.
Acis and Galatea Oct 84 Royal Festival Hall
Israel in Egypt (on BBC2 TV) Mar 79 Brangwyn Hall
Judas Maccabeus (on BBC2/R3) April 85 St David’s Hall, C’diff
Samson 1981 Swansea
Dettingen Te Deum July ‘11 St Davids Cath.
Saul 1984 Brangwyn Hall

Harris: Faire is the heaven April 00 Christchurch Cath., Dublin

Harwood: Mag/Nunc in A flat Oct 94 York Minster

Haydn: Creation October 92 St Davids Cath.
July 06 St Davids Cath.
Maria Theresa Mass July 88 St Davids Cath.
Missa in Angustiis (Nelson Mass) 7th Apl 90 St Katherine's M.H. Te Deum in C (recorded) Feb85/Apl 89
Oct 98/Nov 06 Swansea/Prague/Tenby
St Cecelia Mass July 96 St Davids Cath.
Insanae et vanae Cure Feb 87 Bethany, P/Dock
St Nicholas Mass Dec 07/Jly ‘11 St Davids Cath.
Paukenmesse (on BBC2 TV) July 81/April 82 St Davids Cath.
Hoddinott Alun: Sinfonia Fidei June 77
Te Deum July 81 St Davids Cath.
Puer Natus (recording) Feb 85

Holst, Gustav: Nunc Dimittis March 08 Rhos y Gilwen

Hopkin Evans: Dyrchafaf fy Llygaid Oct 92/Oct 94 St M’s, F’gd/York
June 07 St Peter’s G’wick
Howells: Requiem April 89 Swansea
April 89 St Davids Cath.
Mar 98 St Mary's H'west
April 01 St Mary’s Goodwick
Coll.Reg. Te Deum & Benedictus, Mag/Nunc, Mass Oct 94 York Minster
Gloucester Service April 00 Christchurch Cath., Dublin
Hymn for St Cecelia Nov 08 St Katherine’s MH

Ireland Great Love Hath No Man Mar 12 St Martins H’west

Kodaly: Missa Brevis April 05 St Martins H’west
Oct 05 St Davids Cath.
Lassus: Cantatibus Organis Nov 08 St Katharine’s MH
Missa Bell' Amfitrit' altera Jly 14 St Davids Cath.
Ave Verum
Timor et Tremor

Leighton: Crucifixus Pro Nobis March 98 St Mary's H’west
March 12 St Martin’s H’west

Lloyd-Webber: Four songs from Cats May 96 Narberth

Lotti: Crucifixus April 03 St Peter’s, Goodwick

Mahler: 2nd Symph - Resurrection (recording) July 87/Jan 88 St D’s Hall Cardiff

Mason Alex: 3 Poems by Rumi Oct 08 Nantyffin, Llandissilio
Nov 08 St K’s Milford Haven

Mathias : Let the People Praise Thee Oct 92 St Mary’s, Fishguard
This World’s Joie
Shakespeare Songs 1979/Oct 84 Cardiff Fest/Fest Hall
Wedding Anthem (recording) Feb 85
Ave Rex Mar 83 Brangwyn Hall

Maunder: Olivet to Calvary Mar 94 St Martins, H'west

Mendelssohn: Lauda Sion Mar 88/Sept 96 C’diff & St D’s/Tenby
Hymn of Praise Jly 93 St Davids (Festival)
Elijah July 81 Fishguard Fest.

Moeran: Spring Songs July 13 St Davids Cath.

Monteverdi: Beatus Vir Apl 89/Apl 90 Swansea/St K’s, M-Haven
Jly 14 St Davids Cath.
Vespers (1610) Jly 86 St Davids Cath.
Oct 88 St John’s Smith Sq, London
Cantate Domino Jly 14 St Davids Cath.

Mozart: Vesperae solonnes de confessore, K 339 July 77 Fishguard Fest
May 91 Npt(P)/Steynton
July 08 St Davids Cath.
Mass in C, K 317 (Coronation Mass) Jun 87 St M’s, Tenby
May 87 N’pt Pembs
Oct 98 Prague
Ave Verum May 87 Newport (P)
Feb 87/Oct 98 Bethany, P-Dock/Prague
Oct 08 Nantyffin, Llandissilio
Requiem Mar 83 Brangwyn Hall
Sept 95 Merlin Theatre H’west
Oct 95 Prague
July 08 St Davids Cath.
Mass in C minor 17 July 04 St Davids Cath

Murrill Herbert: O Mistress Mine July 13 St Davids Cath.

Mussorgsky: Iesus Navin
Destruction of Sennacherib Oct 2011 St Davids Cath.

Noon (arr.): A Nightingale Sang in B Sq. July 06 St Davids Cath.
June 07 St Peter’s G’wick

Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli July 87
Stabat Mater 19&26 Mar Cardiff / ST D’s
Canite Tuba Dec 87 St Mary’s, H’west
Dec 96 St Katharine’s, M/Haven
? St Mary‘s Tenby

Parry: Songs of Farewell March 96 St Davids Cath.
Easter 99 St Peter’s, Goodwick
My Soul July 13 St Davids Cath.
I was Glad July 10 St Davids Cath.
June 07 St Peter’s G’wick
Nov 08 St Katherine’s MH

Pergolisi: Magnificat July 03 St Davids Cath.

Philips: O Beatum et Sacrosantum Diem Dec 87 St Mary’s, H’west

Poulenc: Four Christmas Motets Dec 87/Dec St Mary's H'west/Tenby
Dec 91 Aberystwyth
Gloria July 99 St Davids Cath.
4 Lenten Motets Easter 99 St Peter’s Goodwick

Puccini: Messa di Gloria July 78 Fishguard Fest

Purcell: Hail Bright Cecelia July 03 St Davids Cath.
My Heart is Inditing Mar 13 St Peter’s G’wick

Rachmaninov: Vespers Sept 20th ‘03 Tenby Festival
June 04 St Davids (Festival)
Oct 09 St Davids Cath.

Ramsey: O Sapientia Dec 87 St Mary’s H’west

Rheinberger: Mass in Eb, Op 109 March 12 St Martin’s H’west

Roberts, Trevor: Idyll Nov 99 St Davids Cath.
St Mary’s Cardigan
Hymn of Thanksgiving July 81 St Davids Cath.
The Love Tree 1989

Rose: Responses

Rossini: Petite Mess Sollenelle July 98 St Davids Cath.
July 83 F’gd School hall

Rubbra: Missa Cantuariensis Jly 94 St Davids Cath.
Mag/Nunc Oct 94 York Minster

Rutter: Gloria Dec 97 St Mary’s Tenby
July 10 St Davids Cath
Magnificat Oct 2nd Brecon Cathedral
Requiem April 01 St Peter’s, Goodwick
Mar/Apl 02 Wexford/Monkton Priory
Dec 98 St Mary’s, Tenby
April 14 St Katharine’s, M/Haven
Mass of the Children July7th/15th 07 Carlow/St Davids
Sprig of Thyme July 13 St Davids Cath.

Schubert: Mass in G Oct 98 Brecon Cathedral
Easter 99 St Peter’s, Goodwick
Nov 99 St Mary’s, Cardigan
Mass in E flat May 97 St Davids Festival

Schutz: Jauchzet dem Herrn July 14 St Davids Cath.
Selig sind die Toten July 14 St Davids Cath.

Stainer: The Crucifixion

Stanford: Motets – Justorum Animae Apl 2000 Christchurch Cath. Dublin
Coeli Ascendit Hodie
Beati Quorum Via
Mag and Nunc in A

Tallis Thomas: Spem in Allium Oct 05 St Davids Cath.

Tavener John: The Lamb Dec 12 Monkton Priory
Nov 08 St Katherine’s MH
Song for Athene April 03 St Peter’s, Goodwick

Taverner: Dum transisset Sabbatum April 03 St Peter’s, Goodwick

Tippett: Five Negro Spirituals (A Child of Our Time) Oct 97 Narberth

Vaughn Williams: Five Mystical Songs Gloucester Cathedral
Mass in G March 96 St Davids Cath.
March 08 Rhos y Gilwen
Dona Nobis Pacem July 99 St Davids Cath.
Fantasia on Xmas Carols Dec 99 St Katherine’s, M/Haven
Three Shakespeare Songs March 08 Rhos y Gilwen
July 13 St Davids Cath.

Verdi: Anvil Chorus Oct 97 Narberth
Hebrew Slaves chorus Oct 97 Narberth
Requiem July 9 &16 ‘05 Carlow/St Davids Cath.

Victoria : Miss O Quam Gloriosum Nov 99 St Mary’s Cardigan
April 2000 Christchurch Cath Dublin

Villette: Hymne a la Vierge Jun 87 St Mary’s Tenby

Vivaldi: Gloria July 03 St Davids Cath.
Oct 08 Nantyffin, Llandissillio
Dec 14 St Davids Cath.
Magnificat July 01 St Davids Cath.

Williams, Adrian: St Woolos Mass April 89 Swansea



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