'of heaven and earth'

Bach: Jesu Meine Freude
Wheeler: Time Becomes a Song

The Granta Chorale

Saturday 1 May 2010 at 7.30pm
at St. Mary's Church, Saffron Walden

'of heaven and earth' will be the Chorale's first concert in Saffron Walden and the choir, together with their guest Jonathan Lilley, organist at Ely Cathedral, look forward to filling the acoustics of this magnificent church with a varied and interesting programme of secular and sacred music.

The programme includes two wonderful Bach motets, Lobet den Herrn and Jesu meine Freude; Faire is the Heaven, a double choir motet by William Harris and three works by Janet Wheeler, a second performance of Time becomes a Song, a first performance of The joy as it flies, and Alleluia, I heard a voice. There is more heavenly music with Lux Aurumque by the highly regarded American composer Eric Whitacre and Verdi's Laudi alla vergine Maria while A Summer Garland, composed in 2002 by Alan Bullard, celebrates the English countryside in a light-hearted choral suite most appropriate for May Day.

In 2009 Janet Wheeler was commissioned to write a cycle of John Clare settings to celebrate the life and work of the 17th century poet who wrote with great insight of his local countryside, his unrequited love and the injustices of the day.
The Granta Chorale gave the first performance of Time becomes a Song in a celebratory concert for the John Clare Trust at Glinton in Northamptonshire, close to the poet's birthplace and are delighted to include this new work in their St Mary's programme.

We also sing two pieces from Janet Wheeler's The joy as it flies which, originally planned as a cycle of epitaph settings, broadened to include poems and texts in a similar vein. The themes of the sun, life, death and eternity weave in and out through the work.

Tickets are £8 (children £2) and are available from Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre, Granta Chorale Tickets T: 01799 524816 or click here, choir members or at the door.

The Granta Chorale look forward to the pleasure of your company on Saturday 1 May.


This event has already taken place. We hope to see you at one of our future events.

Reviews and Audience Comments

Granta Chorale's first concert in St. Mary's Church Saffron Walden attracted a large audience who clearly enjoyed their exquisite singing of a wide-ranging programme 'of heaven and earth'. The grandeur and glory of William Harris's "Faire is the heaven" and Bach's complex and exciting motet "Jesu Meine Freude" contrasted well with Janet Wheeler's highly original songs from "The Joy as it Flies", demonstrating the great versatility of this talented choir.

There is currently renewed interest in the life and work of "the peasant poet" John Clare, and the five choral settings by Janet Wheeler of his poems "Time Becomes a Song" in the Earth section of the programme graphically illustrated his closeness to the natural world and the intensity of his early love. The composer of "A Summer Garland", Alan Bullard, was present at this Mayday concert and appeared pleased to hear it so well sung. Altogether an uplifting and satisfying concert.


... an enchanting evening of fabulous music. St. Mary’s makes the most of the special sound of Granta Chorale because it is large enough.

The Whitacre from the rear of the church was a particular highlight (and others sitting in different parts of the church from me also thought so).

It was a huge success...


Over the Rainbow made a fantastic finale...

'of heaven and earth' Poster