Independent Podcast: Royal Choral Society 140th Anniversary
Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is Chief Classical Music and Opera Critic for The Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine's review panel for many years. Edward presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman.
Thursday 17 May 2012
The Royal Choral Society is 140 years young and joins the ranks of the most venerable choral societies in the land - among them Halifax, Huddersfield, and Hereford. What is it about our love of communal singing that has raised the tradition of the great British Choral Society to such dizzy heights?
Richard Cooke has been Music Director of what was originally the Royal Albert Hall Choral Society (specially founded to perform in that hallowed hall) since 1995 and in this celebratory podcast he talks to Edward Seckerson about a tradition which began with safety in numbers when big was always better and membership of these societies often totalled 1000 or more. But times change and bodies like the Royal Choral Society slimmed down to more manageably dynamic numbers.
Cooke recalls the RCS's illustrious past when the likes of Charles Gounod, Elgar, Dvorak, and Verdi conducted the choir. He talks about the Sir Malcolm Sargent era where the fortunes of the choir took a real upturn and they could be seen in full American Indian costume for performances of Samuel Coleridge Taylor's "Hiawatha". The big 140th Birthday Gala is on 25 June at the hall whose name the choir once bore - the Royal Albert Hall - and what better choice of work than one which the RCS introduced to the British public in 1875, conducted by the composer: Verdi's "Requiem".
Stream the podcast here:
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food