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The Loves of the Poets

The Handful

St Mary's Church, Bathwick

This event will stop selling via Bath Box Office at 4.55pm on Saturday. Remaining tickets can be purchaed on the door prior to the concert.

An exploration of love through poetry: Shakespeare to Verlaine, folksong to opera and more.

Musical Director Vicente Chavarría

Bath Spa String Quartet

In celebration of the 150th birthday of Ralph Vaughan Williams, at the heart of the programme is his Serenade to Music, which he wrote for the 50th anniversary of conductor Sir Henry Wood’s first concert. This beautiful choral meditation on the nature of music and its power to enrapture, is a setting of text from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, originally written for the voices of sixteen eminent British singers specifically chosen by Wood and the composer.

Romanian-French composer Edgar Cosma’s Les Amours des Poètes includes settings of both medieval and Romantic French poetry and we are proud to present the UK première of Part I of this exquisite work.

Sitting nicely alongside these musical gems are works by Orlande de Lassus (Jubliate Deo), Thomas Morley (Fire fire), Henry Purcell (If music be the food of love), Amy Beach (Shakespeare Choruses, no 1), Matthew Harris (Shakespeare Songs), and Cecilia McDowall (Sigh no more, Ladies) as well as two folksongs by Vaughan Williams and an extract from his opera, In Windsor Forest.

We are delighted to be joined for this concert by the Bath Spa Quartet.

The Handful has enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the most exciting, vibrant and adventurous chamber choirs in and around Bath. Founded in 2002 as ‘A Handful of Singers’, the choir started out as a small group of experienced singers. For 13 years the choir worked with the award-winning director Christopher Finch, growing both in size (to 24 singers) and in stature. With its last director Tomos Watkins, this forward-looking choir entered a new phase, enthralling audiences with its fine sound and imaginative programming. The future looks set to be just as exciting, inspiring and full of adventure under the baton of current director Vicente Chavarría.

‘Such variety, and such technical prowess! Nothing more beautiful to listen to than a chamber choir singing quietly!’ audience member



The Loves of the Poets