The 25th anniversary of the Djanogly Recital Hall was celebrated on 31 October 2019 with birthday cake and a concert featuring the Sacconi String Quartet playing works by Beethoven and Brahms. The concert also saw the world premiere of a new choral work 'Poems of Love and War' by Howard Skempton, commissioned by Lakeside Arts especially for the occasion. The work was a setting of nine Viking Age poems as translated by Professor Judith Jesch in her book Viking Poetry of Love and War (2013) and the music reflected the contrasting themes of the words, ranging from brutality to tenderness via humour. 'Poems of Love and War' was sung a cappella by the University Chamber Choir conducted by Calum Fraser.
One reviewer noted that 'The settings (and performances) were as sharply etched as Viking jewellery: lyrical, intense, concise, the one-syllable-per-note style adding to the sense of directness, of nothing being wasted. Both choir and conductor were clearly deeply inside the idiom, consistently precise and intelligently attentive to the poems’ words.'
If you missed the concert, there is another chance to hear 'Poems of Love and War' on Friday the 22nd of November, at the University Chamber Choir's Nordic Nights concert. There are also plans for the choir to tour the work around the country later this year.
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