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Welcome to the Thames Philharmonic blog, where members and the professional musicians we sing with share choral tips and experiences

November 15, 2018

The eve of Armistice Sunday: an appropriate choice for a performance of Britten's War Requiem, says concert reviewer M N Woodroffe.

The eve of Armistice Sunday, Saturday 10th November, was the appropriate choice for a performance of the War Requiem of Benjamin Britten, given by Thames Philharmonic Choir and Thames Festival Orchestra under the direction of John Bate with Benjamin Costello as assistant conductor directing the separate chamber ensemble. Tiffin School trained th...

November 7, 2018

The battered old War Requiem score I’ll be singing from at Cadogan Hall next Saturday was first used by my father, Ron Peck, in 1967, just five years after the first performance in Coventry Cathedral. It's littered with remarks, scribbles and coloured pencil marks made by my father as he used it to teach the work to the singers in his choirs. You can just about make out the notes!

The 1967 performance was in Guildford Cathedral, as was a subsequent performance in 1969, both...

November 2, 2018

At 16, I was introduced to Benjamin Britten who said I "was the nicest girl he had ever met"! It happened in 1964 when I was going out with the son of the General Manager of the Aldeburgh Festival. Britten, Peter Pears and Stephen Reiss were dining in the Festival Club in Aldeburgh in August, as was their wont, and my boyfriend took me in to say hello. His remark was reported to me afterwards but I never met him again. 

In 1977, only a few months after Britten died, I spen...

October 21, 2018

"A mighty plea for peace." This is how John Bate, Artistic Director of South West London's Thames Philharmonic Choir, describes Britten's War Requiem which the Choir will perform on 10 November at Cadogan Hall. "This makes it particularly appropriate to mark the centenary of end of the First World War. It is a great challenge to all who perform it, but a wonderful experience, as it is also for those who listen." A leading light on the London choral music scene, this will be...

October 7, 2018

George Richard Bostock Mazengarb, my Great Uncle, was killed aged 20 at the Somme (Delville Wood/Longueval) on 27 July 1916. My grandmother was just 18 at the time and she never forgot the impact on the family of the news of his death, delivered to the house by telegram. It was some months later that they received news about how he died and reading the two sources below, it’s not difficult to see how this young man’s experience is mirrored in the sentiment of Wilfred Owen’s...

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