Practice Tracks for October concert

Posted on behalf of Scott

Hi EVers,

Attached are practice tracks for Rousseau Words and All the World’s a Stage.
Note the change of rhythm in bar 13 of Rousseau Words as altered at rehearsal last Thursday. Also note: tenors and basses, bars 23-24 should be one octave lower. A new corrected copy is attached for reference.
In All the World’s a Stage, tenors and basses note the change of rhythm to triplets in bar 10, as corrected in rehearsal (this is the way we sang it in As You Like It).  Also bar 11 should be “one” man in his time….. Bar 83 should be “childishness”, sung as 4 semiquavers on beat 3.  A new corrected copy is attached for reference.
This should help us all get on top of them from Thursday.
Thanks for your hard work and great musicianship!

ACTION Notes: this sort.

Posted on behalf of Liz – 14 October

Dear lovely singers,

Thanks to everyone who has been working on their music ready for our Celebrating Bernstein concert in a fortnight’s time. When we focus on really ‘making music’ (i.e. being musical and delivering a performance), we are magnificent! 🎼💖
Obviously, where we’re uncertain of our notes, we are lacklustre at best…. and that is surely not how we roll.🐲 Non, mes amis! Not us. So, make like a tin can and Puh-Leease make sure you know all your actual notes (+ rhythms, + entries) by next Thursday’s rehearsal.
🎶Here’s your checklist:
  • Chichester Psalms
  • West Side Story
  • Serenade to Music
  • Liebeslieder Waltzes
  • All the World’s a Stage  & Rousseau’s Words

[NB no third Stroman song]

It’s all gorgeous and we should relish it!!!
And after that we will be able to use Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th to finesse our delivery, so that we can have a great time on Saturday 28th.
Are your mates coming? Do they love music? Is “Maria” the most beautiful sound you’ve ever heard? Call them hither – we need a crowd!
And don’t forget to strew flyers liberally about the town – especially as the reverse side carries details of our whole upcoming season.
Thank you.
Liz x


Posted on behalf of Rosemary, 12/9/17

Hello everyone

Looking forward to the start of rehearsals on 28th September and catching up with you all. I hope you’ve all had a really enjoyable summer. I am away at the moment but just wanted to remind you all that subs have gone up to £300 a year or £150 if you pay the concession rate. I know many of you have standing orders in place so please remember to change these to £100 or £50 a term whichever is appropriate. I will collect any cash or cheque payments on 28th.

Just about to set sail from Lefkas! See you all on 28th.




Posted on behalf of Inga

Dear EVers,
so the new term starts this coming Thursday.
Hopefully you’re excited to be back as the next concert is coming up very soon – on Saturday, 28th October – and each and everyone of you is needed to make this eclectic program a success.
“What? That soon? But I haven’t got any music!”
I hear you say.
Well, I will sell all music needed for the Autumn Concert on Thursday.
The rule is “first come, first served” and I can only hand over the music for you to keep if you pay me directly – cash or cheque. If you bring cash please try to bring exact money as change will be limited. There should be enough scores for everyone, but I’d still like to ask you to arrive early – from 7pm – so there is enough time for everyone to get their scores before rehearsal starts. Time is of the essence!
Below is a list of scores available to buy:
– Brahms “Liebeslieder Waltzes”: £2.50
– Vaughan Williams “Serenade to Music”: £8.50
– Bernstein “Chichester Psalms”: £6
– Bernstein “West Side Story Suite”: £4

Total cost: £21

There will also be three compositions by Scott available, but as Scott will organise these I can’t tell you how much you’ll have to pay for your copy.
I’ve already ordered the Christmas Oratorio scores and will sell them once they’ve arrived. I’ll send an email clarifying the cost before selling the scores.
Many thanks to everyone who replied to my email to say that they’ve already got a score. Your response was very helpful indeed!
If you’ve got any queries regarding the above, please don’t hesitate to email me.
See you all on Thursday!
PS: Very well done to everyone involved in “Fever Pitch”. I went to see it yesterday and thought you all looked very professional (not that I expected anything less).


Posted on behalf of Catherine Furlong

Dear All

This year we return to Caldicott School for our Away Day which is on SATURDAY, 30TH SEPTEMBER. The postcode is SL2 3SL. See for details of location.  It’s about an hour’s drive from Highbury (on a good day!).

As our usual Travel Co-ordinator, Tim, is involved in ‘Fever Pitch’ at the moment, I am kick-starting the travel arrangements for him by offering some guidance re: travel to Caldicott as well as getting in the offers and requests for lift-sharing – please note you need to respond to Tim who will be doing the matching-up!

For those of you who have not attended before, the day runs from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm – please ensure you arrive in good time so that we can start promptly – best to aim to arrive for 9.30 am. There is a lunch break and you can either go to the pub nearby or bring a packed lunch. Somebody, (usually Henry if memory serves me correctly) co-ordinates pre-ordering the pub lunches to save waiting time.

The Away Day accounts for rehearsals 2 and 3 for our concert in October – remember you need to have attended at least 6 out of the 8 rehearsals to sing in the concert so it’s really important to come along – especially if you are likely to miss any further rehearsals!

Some hardy souls travel by public transport. There have been some timetable changes since we last went to Caldicott and looks like you need to the 08:50 train from London Paddington Station to Slough (where it arrives at 09.06), then get Bus No. X74 leaving Bay 6 at Slough Bus Station at 09.20 am, and go as far as the Forester’s Arms in Farnham Common (arriving around 9.43 am).  Apparently it’s exceedingly easy to find Slough bus station (which is near Tesco on the south side of the station) and it’s only a short walk from the Forester’s Arms to Caldicott School so you should be able to arrive by 10 am.  See attached for maps of the relevant parts of Slough and Farnham Common.


If any of you wish to explore other public transport options, you should find the following websites helpful:


However most people generally find it easiest to share cars, so………….



If you can offer lifts, and

– How many people you can offer lifts to

– Where you will be leaving from (or any possible pick-up points en route)

– What time you will be leaving

Or, if you would like a lift, letting Tim where you live to enable the best possible match. Might be helpful to include your mobile phone number as well.

Please reply directly to Tim on

Tim will then try to match up offers and requests, and put together a plan by next Thursday, 28th September.


Learning aids for Chichester Psalms

Posted on behalf of Hannah

Dear everyone

My cousin Susannah was kind enough to read the Hebrew text of Chichester Psalms for me to record as a pronounciation guide for us all. I am going to send the audio files as attachments in emails to follow, and hopefully it will work . If not, please let me know and I will do my best to resolve it.

This will be the beginning of a sweet new year, and an exciting season for EV!

See you soon

The sound files are on the Learning Aids page

eflyers for 10th June; Voices of London 1st July; social stuff.

Posted on behalf of Liz, [with edits from  AW]

[Attachment(s) from Elizabeth Cochrane included below]

Dear friends,
Sorry, long email.  All mission critical, though.
Here are the eflyers for POULENC, STRAVINSKY, RAVEL on 10th June (I’m sorry – I got distracted before the weekend).
It’s just 3 weeks away, now.  Please can you think in terms of selling 5 tickets apiece?  This is a Big Concert, in the newly arising tradition of Big Summer Concerts, so we need to go max on seat-packing, amplify on our audience generation efforts – in short, get multiple bums on seats. So shout about it to all your friends!
The music is gorgeous, dramatic and special (think how much you would love to listen to it from the pews!) and there will be a stunning input from the orchestra, with their performances of Stravinsky’s ‘Pulcinella Suite’ and Ravel’s ‘Mother Goose’ as well.  I don’t think anyone could fail to enjoy it, or to be flippin impressed.  It was sounding very good on Thursday.
I’ve also attached the flyer for the 2017-18 season, so that all our supporters can see what dates to put in their diaries, and how wonderfully varied the things are that we are doing. Please do share it around.
The same information is on the ‘upcoming concerts’ page of our public website. And I’ll put both flyers onto the evmembers website so you can find and download them again if you lose this email.
There’s a rehearsal this week, then the crucial chance for ‘sectional polishing’ on Thursday 1st June.
The week after next we have rehearsals on Monday 5th (at Christ Church) and Thursday 8th (at St Pancras, with the orchestra – [The Monday rehearsal is at 7 pm and the Thursday rehearsal at 8 pm – AW]
[On Saturday 10th, before the concert, rehearsal will be from 4.15 pm.  Please be there at 4 pm to warm up / find your place / get last minute instructions from voice rep. – AW]
The next thing for EV members to think about is the Voices of London Festival concert on Saturday 1st July.  Along with Music Makers of London (it’s a piece for double-choir), Eclectic Voices is performing Jonathan Dove’s piece The Passing of the Year.  In other words, we are key. Obvs.
We will be learning the piece on Thursdays 15th and 22nd June.
There is also a rehearsal on Saturday 17th June, 11am till 1pm, at St Mary’s Church, Merton, which we are warmly entreated to attend.
The concert on 1st July is at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, Holborn Viaduct. Rehearsal for the Dove piece will start at 2:45, and the concert is at 7:30.
More details in a separate email.
Even if you’re not able to sing on 1st July, please do plan to come to the rehearsals on 15th and 22nd June, as we’ll be starting to look at the music for autumn – specifically the Brahms and Stroman songs that will form part of the programme. There’s a lot of music to learn for the October 28th concert, and that term doesn’t start until 28th September, so it will behoove us all to start early (behoove = singing as ponies) .
LOVE ECLECTIC – Well, you would, wouldn’t you?
Love Eclectic will be held on Thursday 29th, and I am in the process of finding a new venue for it – a Highbury pub, basically, where we can have a proper old knees-up.  Hopefully this will mean that more of our friends and family will come and join us, as it will more obviously resemble a party.
I’d like to let you know that the altos have something special planned (you may remember a number from an earlier year featuring rubber gloves), and I can only hope that other groups will also get something special going…  More details about the exact way that it will all work as soon as I have nailed down a venue, but get pondering.  To share is to delight, after all.
In response to the call for social action, Mel and Tim have nobly stepped into the breach (it’s a bit muddy down there) and will be hosting an Eclectic Summer Barbecue on Friday 18th August.
Do you want to lead an outing, organise a walk, bosh people with culture?  Maybe some EV-ers will come and support your friend’s theatre performance, coo at birds together in the Woodberry Wetlands, or take in opera or a musical with you… Just ask!
Thursday 25th May – rehearsal as usual
Thursday 1st June – sectional polishing
Monday 5th June – rehearsal at Christ Church
Thursday 8th June – rehearsal with orchestra at St Pancras
Saturday 10th June – concert at St Pancras with all of your friends. Ticket link on our public website.  Flyers attached here.  Rehearsals from 3pm (poss 4pm for EV?) and concert 7:30pm.
Thursday 15th June – rehearsal of Dove for VoL festival, and Brahms and Stroman for autumn
Saturday 17th June – rehearsal of Dove with the other choir, St Mary Merton, 11am-1pm
Thursday 22nd June – rehearsal of Dove for VoL festival, and Brahms and Stroman for autumn
Thursday 29th June – LOVE ECLECTIC (a party in need of some party turns)
Saturday 1st July – Voices of London Festival concert, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate
Friday 18th August – EV Summer Barbecue
Let me know if there are any questions.
Happy and glorious (sunshine),

Attachment(s) from Elizabeth Cochrane | View attachments on the web

2 of 2 File(s)

Spanish trip, volunteers, French Latin, tickets.

on behalf of Liz

Dear friends,
I’m going to hit you with the big news first. Hold onto your hats.
I am beyond thrilled to say that we DO have a foreign trip planned for 2018.  Hurrah!!! Yippee!! Ay caramba!  It’s been too long since we took to the road.  Happily, we’re going back to La Coruna, where EV members went in 2009, and will again be connecting with Traugott Graser, who is now working with a different choir, I think, though still in the same gorgeous part of the world.  Of the dates that we proposed to them, the weekend that works for the Galicians is 16th-18th March 2018, so get that in your diaries.
 We’ll be performing the music from our spring programme (Celebrating Gene Puerling) and the La Coruna choir will join us for two or three of the easier pieces that we do.  It may be that a third choir (from Santiago, and apparently qwal-i-dee) will also get involved in one of our concerts.
Today’s random Galician fact is that the local name for La Coruna is actually A Coruña.  Stick that on your plancha and grill it.
Another hot date: there will be an awayday on Sept 30th at Caldicott.  This will count as two of the rehearsals programmed for the Celebrating Bernstein concert on 28th October.  Although in fact we will have a bit of early music prep for that concert on 15th and 22nd June.
Some admin.
Volunteers!  We need a press officer. Can you write press releases?  Can you release them into the wild successfully?  Please speak up!  Also, how about organising a trip to Spain – yes, we will need a travel coordinator for our trip next year.
And social events could do with a boost: if you fancy organising something for choir members to do together over the next few months (a trip to the theatre, a walk, an escape room, in-depth pub investigations), please do!  The more the busier, the more fun the betterer.
You will have seen Andrew’s note about the website (login ID eclectic, password christchurch).  If you’re looking for an ‘official’ email that’s got buried in your inbox, or for reminders about – and links to – learning aids, you’ll find them all stored there.  You’ll also find the minutes of committee meetings (the most recent one is available now).  We try hard to keep it up to date, but humans are imperfect (and busy) and frankly I have frequently fallen short – so please don’t write and say what’s missing, unless it’s something you actively need! 
What you can use right now are the guides to French Latin pronunciation that Nicole provided and Scott circulated and Andrew has put onto the members’ website.  Please do use them – more specifically, please go through your music and note down the French Latin pronunciation for the words that we are singing.  It’s not always as you expect (for example, ‘um’ at the end of a word is pronounced ‘om’, as in homme, so ‘dominum’ is said ‘dominomme’) and there’s no point learning to sing the wrong thing!
Regarding Messieurs Stravinsky and Poulenc, Sarah has pointed out that actually this summer’s music carries some of the same demands of last summer’s Missa Solemnis – particularly where stamina is concerned.  We will need to sing pretty loudly most of the time once we’re against the orchestra, and a lot of the music is quite high.  You can find tips about building up vocal strength (so as not to damage your voice, and to sing beautifully, up high, at volume) on – where else? – the EV members’ website: look for the page ‘Learning aids – vocal technique and strength’.
Most importantly – the ticket link for the concert is active on our website.  Please send your friends there!!  Note that for this concert, concession tickets (for students, disabled, registered unwaged) are £12 rather than our usual £10.  Standard tickets are £15 as ever.  You can buy paper tickets from Andrew at rehearsals, too.  We need to sell a minimum of 5 tickets per choir member to break even on this concert, so please do your darnedest in getting friends and family to support us by coming to listen to stunning music in a great space. Thank you!
That’s it, I think.
Tally ho.

Learning Stravinsky and Poulenc

posted on behalf of Scott. This email has a corrected link.
Hi EV singers,

Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays.  I’ve been asked to give some idea of the rehearsal schedule, to recommend recordings to listen to, and to inspire you to get preparing!
As I really love this music I’ve taken some real time doing this; perhaps you can indulge me by reading what follows so that we’re all on the same track.
Let me be clear what we’re striving for: a top-class, professional-quality performance — as good as these recordings that I’m describing below.  We’ve tackled more difficult music, but singing as part of with these amazing orchestrations — with the style, accuracy and sheer power required — is not for the faint-hearted.  We must be very tight and very strong!  With only 65 voices we need every single member firing on all cylinders all of the time.
Rehearsal schedule:
Ideally, these are pieces that want to be sung over and over when we are together, without getting too bogged down in the detail, so I’m expecting you all to learn your notes, for the most part, outside of rehearsal.   Yes, I really mean this!  There are lots of easy-to-use learning aids for these pieces and Inga has sent a link for Cyberbass.  In addition, choose a recording or two from the following and listen to them a lot to get the flow of the music in your head.  You will get to love them!
On 20 April we will concentrate on pronunciation for both pieces for the first half, and then spend the rest of the rehearsal on the Stravinsky.
On 27 April we will spend the whole rehearsal on Poulenc.
On 4 May will spend the whole rehearsal on Stravinsky.
From then on, I plan to do all the music every week.
Latin pronunciation:  We will be singing in a French vernacular style for both pieces.  We are very lucky to have a true expert here in Nicole to coach us, and she will be giving us in-depth instruction on 20 April.
Recordings and performance issues: 
For the Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, there are many really good ones out there, and Stravinsky is so clear about his intentions in the score that there isn’t a huge deal of difference in top-quality recorded performances.  For the really interested, check out the recordings by Pierre Boulez/Berlin Phil, Leonard Bernstein/London Philharmonic, and especially Robert Craft (Stravinsky’s right-hand man).  They are excellent, and sometimes a little crisper than:
the one that is my benchmark–I can’t get past it–Stravinsky’s own 1961 studio recording with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra and Choir.  It’s got so much personality!  I’ve got the complete recordings of Stravinsky (with him, and later Craft, conducting) in a boxed set and I always consult the composer when in doubt.  Having said that, I have noticed that Stravinsky gradually sped up his performances over the years, as did almost everyone else (remember, this piece was originally done in the 1930s).  But this one is close to the original marked tempos–many other conductors were going faster by now.  He know how it goes.
For trainspotters, here’s an excellent little article about the piece and its recordings:
and the same writer, Tom Service, presents a one-hour BBC Radio 3 programme “Discovering Music” about it here:
For the Poulenc Gloria, things are much murkier.  Poulenc didn’t conduct, so it’s harder to know his intentions.  Almost no one accurately follows the printed tempo indications in the score, and conductors have generally sped up the “faster” passage over the years, adding to the frivolity but subtracting from the grandeur.  You have large and smaller choirs and orchestras, some conductors leading toward the more sparkling and some toward the more devout, crisper or smoother style, etc, etc.  Which Latin pronunciation to use? It’s a bit of a minefield.
So, I’m not going to recommend any particular recording as a model, and I’ve decided to discover our own performance for ourselves. But here are some to learn from:
The piece was premiered in Boston (like the Stravinsky), so it’s hard to know what style Latin pronunciation Poulenc desired (if any) when conceiving it — my hunch is that the Boston choir sang with the same pronunciation they would use regularly, in spite of being led by a wonderful French conductor (Charles Munch).  You can actually listen to that first concert performance. But wow–some of it is really is slow and ponderous, even slower than Poulenc’s markings, which are already quite stately.  It sounds too ernest — too much of a big important occasion — to me now. But — and this is a big but — you have to feel for the meaning that someone like Munch attributed to a work like this.  He persevered in Paris, like Poulenc, through the war and sheltered musicians from the Nazis, after all.  A “Gloria” meant something to them that we can only imagine. Check it out:
The first actual recording was done by Georges Prêtre in Paris (in 1961, same year as Stravinsky recorded his Psalms in New York), with Poulenc attending, so probably closest to achieving what the composer intended at the time.  This is a historic recording which has really grown on me.  It is slower that most that came after it (but still faster than Poulenc’s tempo indications) but seems really right in its intentions.  You’ve got to hear it! It’s on iTunes: Wow! is it really honest and vibrant.
The first movement is also on Spotify: (Poulenc Gloria 1961 Digital Remaster, Georges Prêtre).
The same conductor recorded it again in 1985, and it has now gotten noticeably faster, but without feeling rushed.  I have a feeling that over time he had felt that as the world became familiar with the piece that it could flow more without losing its grandeur.  Perhaps this is the one which may be closest to what we’ll arrive at, though I will do my darndest to make the (seemingly slow) printed tempos work before letting them creep up.  Hopefully it will evolve naturally, and as we’re a smaller choir than on this recording, we will be crisper and tighter:
Two more recent recordings will probably feel most engaging to your ears:
Stephen Layton / Polyphony –a bright, energetic sound from a 65-voice choir — more “impressive” than “devout”:
Richard Hickox / City of London Sinfonia —  an all-around pleasing performance and lovely sounding recording, with modest, generally accepted tempos:,5099992827226/red-line-poulenc-gloria-stabat-mater
Happy listening and learning!