REVIEW: ‘The Building of Eliensis’ is powerful and resounding
- Credit: Archant
The Cantata Eliensis tells the story of the building of Ely Cathedral.
The librettist, Nick Pitts-Tucker, used original sources as his inspiration and the music was well-designed to reflect the chants and harmonies from the twelfth century while incorporating more contemporary effects that coloured events wonderfully.
The three composers Anna Krause, Toby Young and Louis Mander produced some intriguing sounds which gave the story life and substance and which would not have been possible without the expertise of the very fine musicians.
We could feel the mysterious eeriness of the Fens, we experienced the horror of battle and marvelled at the portrayal of quarrymen, layers, carpenters and masons at work.
Although a modern instrument, the improvised nature of the saxophone part interwove within the texture fittingly.
Under the baton of Kate Bullimore Cantata Dramatica soloists and chorus expressed the music with accomplished conviction leaving the audience with a sense that it had indeed experienced what it must have been like to build such a magnificent building in those times.
It was fortuitous that the director of music at Ely Cathedral had heard the work before in Grantham and the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral was a most appropriate place for the powerful open harmonies resounding against the stark stone of the surroundings.
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