Belshazzar’s Feast – William Walton
Hymnus Paradisi – Herbert Howells
Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending
Aaron Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man
City of Bristol Choir
The Bristol Ensemble
Jonathan Lemalu bass baritone
Andrew Tortise tenor
Anita Watson soprano
Callum Smart violin
Come and enjoy an evening of stunning choral music performed by a 140-strong chorus from City of Bristol Choir and Exultate Singers together with professional orchestra The Bristol Ensemble.
Grammy award-winning bass Jonathan Lemalu takes centre stage to perform William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, fresh from his appearance singing the work at the BBC Proms. Full of drama, despair and triumph, the piece is a fast-paced tale of the Babylonian king Belshazzar, and the liberation from exile of the Jewish people.
Herbert Howells’ masterpiece Hymnus Paradisi receives its first Bristol performance in this concert. Written in the 1930s after the death of Howells’ young son, it was first performed in 1950. It is an extraordinary work of remembrance and passion, with an ecstatic conclusion looking towards the promise of eternal life.
Completing the programme for this concert on the eve of Remembrance Sunday are two thrilling orchestral pieces. The 15-year-old virtuoso violinist Callum Smart joins the orchestra to perform Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, consistently voted one of the nation’s favourite classical works.
First conceived at the outbreak First World War, the music expresses a yearning for peace and serenity. Aaron Copland’s iconic work Fanfare for the Common Man for brass and percussion was written in response to the US entry into the Second World War, an uplifting declaration of man’s endurance and determination.
From the magical intimacy of a soaring solo violin to the spectacular energy and excitement of the live sound of full orchestra and choir, this concert will stir every emotion from contemplation to joyous rapture.
Joining the line-up of soloists are the tenor Andrew Tortise, who sang the Evangelist so memorably in Exultate Singers’ St Matthew Passion last April, and the Australian soprano Anita Watson.
Jonathan Lemalu bass baritone
“There is no point beating around the bush. Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, is a major talent. His voice defies easy categorisation, combining the depth and authority of a bass with the flexibility and vocal colouring of a baritone” Gramophone Magazine
Grammy award-winning bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu has appeared on the opera stage of leading houses from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House, on tour to Japan, Europe and Australia under the baton of such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles MacKerras, Zubin Mehta, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Roger Norrington, Rene Jacobs, Vladimir Jurowski and Ivor Bolton.
On the concert platform, Jonathan’s diverse operatic and symphonic repertoire ranges from Mozart, Mahler and Berlioz to Britten, Gershwin and John Adams performing with world-class orchestras such at the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra.
Since making his debut at the BBC First Night of the Proms in 2001 while still a student at the Royal College of Music in London, Jonathan Lemalu has been a regular performer at the prestigious Albert Hall Festival, described in 2004 by the Evening Standard as ‘The New King of the Proms’.
Gramophone Magazine wrote of Jonathan, “Every so often a musician arrives on the scene with a talent so richly endowed that the musical world sits up and takes note. The New Zealand-born Samoan Jonathan Lemalu is one such.”
Tickets £30/£25/£20/£15 (£2.50 discount for under 18s and students in full time education)With Colston Hall booking fee:
• Book with Colston Hall box office – telephone 0117 922 3686
• Online at www.colstonhall.org
• Book in person at Colston Hall box office – open 12 noon to 6pm Monday to Saturday