Posted: 22 February 2018
The Londinium is a leading amateur choir with a reputation for performing unjustly neglected twentieth-century repertoire. It is having a celebratory concert on 10 March 2018, which will mark the launch of the Londinium's debut recording, now released on the SOMM label, of their new CD entitled 'The Gluepot Connection'. This is a CD of a selection of unaccompanied songs by British composers, who often frequented 'The George' pub in Great Portland Street, London in the first half of the twentieth century.
Alan Bush was not a member of the group but he knew many of those composers who formed 'The Gluepot Connection'. The Londinium have decided to include two of Alan Bush’s works in their new CD: Lidice (1947) and Like Rivers Flowing (1957). Both works have texts by Nancy Bush.
The programme of the concert includes Alan Bush's Lidice and works by Arnold Bax, John Ireland, Alan Rawsthorne, Peter Warlock, E.J. Moeran, Elizabeth Lutyens, Adrian Peacock and Kenneth Leighton.
Copies of the disc, which includes several premiere recordings, will be available to purchase at the concert.
In a review on Music Web International Nick Barnard writes of this CD, 'All the music here is contributed by composers who at some time or another were part of the 'Gluepot community'...These composers ranged from the pastorally conservative John Ireland...to the politically active Alan Bush...Some of the works here are receiving their first recordings, such as Alan Bush's Like Rivers Flowing and Lidice...The two Bush premieres are...real discoveries. The dedication of Like Rivers Flowing to the Llangollen Welsh Festival of 1957 perhaps explains why it is less musically radical than perhaps I was expecting. This is Bush the composer of the people for the people. Bush's Lidice is an intensely powerful musical response written in 1947 to the destruction of that Czech village by the Nazis as a reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Somm have included a photograph of Bush conducting the first performance on the site of the destroyed village; what a moving occasion that must have been. Bush's music is muted in its intense expression. Rather than any outburst of rage or anger, this takes the form of a mainly quiet eulogy with words by his wife, Nancy Bush. The mainly homophonic writing gives the work a hymn-like character with dissonance firmly controlled. Again, quite how this work can have taken some 70 years to receive a commercial recording is a mystery.'
Details of the concert are:
The Londinium with conductor Andrew Griffiths
Saturday 10th March 2018 at 7.30 pm, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate London EC1A 2DQ
Tickets: £12 ('early bird' discount) / £15 / £10 (students)
Further information from https//www.londinium-voices.org.uk/events