You are invited to a beautiful Christmas service…..
A Wonderful idea for Christmas:
Give tickets for St Matthew Passion in Lichfield Cathedral, 9 March 2024
Radiant Choral Masterpieces Concert
Thank you to all who came and enjoyed this celebration of choral masterpieces.
Three fabulous works were performed together with two organ pieces played brilliantly by Martyn Rawles
Programme: JS Bach: Fürchte dich nicht, D Scarlatti: Stabat Mater & Liszt: Missa Choralis
Organ solo pieces: Bach’s Concerto in A Minor (transcribed from Vivaldi) & Chorale Prelude: Schmücke
Rehearsal & Concert: snaps of choir, conductor Paul Spicer, & organist Martyn Rawles, 18 November in St Paul's Church
Read the reviews ………….
"Paul Spicer’s Birmingham Bach Choir is certainly one of Birmingham’s gems….such as treat…….blown away by Paul and the Bach Choir’s thrilling performance” (Roderic Dunnett)
To read Roderic’s full review click here
"..a splendid concert by the Birmingham Bach Choir, appropriately billed as containing radiant choral masterpieces… Set for double chorus (Bach) there are plenty of vocal challenges, which were well met by the choir, with both halves of the choir complimenting each other perfectly, coming together beautifully for the three-part fugue chorale…” (Martyn Parfect)
"There was an excellent swell of sounds throughout (Scarlatti) and conductor Paul Spicer elicited a clarity of individual parts emerging through quite a dense texture. The choir switched well from the baroque style into a much more expansive religious setting (for the Liszt)…... lovely moments – the explosive opening of the Sanctus and good dramatic contrasts in the Credo spring to mind" (Keith Horsfall)
To read Martyn & Keith’s full reviews click here
7 colours of the Rainbow…….7 new singers!
Broughton Pianos to the Rescue!
This September rehearsals started in our new venue but there was no piano!
Our huge thanks to Broughton Pianos who came to our rescue with a superb Danneman 115 Upright starting a 3-year collaboration with us.
The piano, delivery, & Sales Director Thomas Taffe (Broughton Pianos) with our accompanist Martyn Rawles at the start of our first autumn rehearsal
Broughton Pianos based in Belbroughton, Worcestershire, started as a family business 39 years ago, and has grown to become one of the largest showrooms in the UK.
For more details click here
Beautiful Brahms was performed in Bridgnorth and Birmingham to very appreciative audiences
Bridgnorth was a lovely evening despite the challenges of sultry heat and sunshine momentarily blinding some of the singers !
At the CBSO Centre on a cooler less humid day all performers felt more comfortable!
Both concerts were a great success.
Thank you to our audiences for their warm welcomes and appreciation, and our superb pianist John Thwaites, who all helped make it so.
Review of CBSO Centre Concert:
“…the lyricism, complex harmonic structure and sudden changes amid wide-ranging dynamics being expertly handled by the choir."
(Keith Horsfall. Click here to read all this review)
"An enthusiast audience very much hope that the Bach Choir will return to S Mary’s again to thrill us with the glorious sound of voices in harmony
"..a rare and thrilling choral experience..”
To read all John’s review click here
(David Gray and Paul Gray)
Click here to read all this review
Snaps taken during rehearsals & concerts of choir, pianist John Thwaites, and conductor Paul Spicer
At last a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in our life time
What a wonderful concert!
This concert of Rachmaninoff’s rarely performed work was a very moving occasion made particularly special by the enthusiasm and appreciation of the splendid audience who packed St Paul’s church from all corners of the region to hear this extraordinary work, and gave the performance a standing ovation.
As Martyn Parfect reflected (see review below) When first performed in 1910, the Moscow Synodal School said that this work was not suitable for church use “……absolutely wonderful, even too beautiful, but with such music it would be difficult to pray; it is not church music.” Well, they were wrong: it is suitable, and St Paul’s Church was the best place to hear it.
The soloists were much praised: Graham Stroud (choir tenor member) sang both tenor and baritone cantor parts (due to the sudden illness of the baritone William Robinson) and Corinna Gregory (choir soprano member).
What the reviewers said:
"….among the finest in the country is undoubtedly the Birmingham Bach Choir: confident, assured, riveting, exciting.
In setting before his audience a work of staggering beauty and intensity, which scarcely any of them will have encountered before. But also in putting his choir through its paces in a work whose challenge was in itself a tribute from him to its members, an expression of confidence in his singers. What a success. What a treat. And what an achievement. “
Read more from Roderic Dunnet
"I had to join a long queue of people outside, also eager to hear a rare performance – maybe the first one in Birmingham - and St Paul’s church was packed when I took my seat.
It is a tough ask for a choir to perform such a lengthy unaccompanied work, but this fine ensemble was clearly able to carry it off with aplomb, evident even from the very first Amen."
Read more from Martyn Parfect
.."As always, the choir’s blend of voices under the direction of Paul Spicer was lovely to hear with both the tenors and sopranos in particular excelling in some explosive moments. The work calls for sudden dynamic changes and these were handled convincingly throughout."
Read more from Keith Horsall
Come & Sing! Event
Our 2023 Come & Sing of Dvorak’s Stabat Mater was a tremendous success.
Such a gorgeous work.
Thank you to all who came, to all who organised it (led by Heather Gay) and especially to Paul Spicer for inspiring us all, Paul Carr for accompanying us beautifully, and our fabulous 4 x soloists: Corinna Gregory, Judith Moreland, Ben Thompson, and Philip Bellshaw.
We were joined for the workshop by BBCWM’s Kath Stanczyszym.
"A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon” and “Birmingham Bach Choir are fantastic"
(Kath Stanczyszyn, BBCWM)
You can hear in full what she had to say here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0dy6f2z (go to 3hrs 40 mins 40 secs )
Come & Sing with Us! 2024
Saturday 27 April 2 - 6 pm
A break with tradition!….. from Selly Oak to Wylde Green URC Church B73 5SW
Handing out music, the impressive raffle prizes, warm up exercises, our soloists, getting to know people around us, amazing homemade cakes, and having a good sing.
Looking back to JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio November 2022
The Cathedral was packed for our concert on November 2022.
Paul Spicer, celebrating 30 years with the Choir:
"I was so proud of the choir this evening. It was a fabulous performance. Life affirming and you all rose to the occasion magnificently. Bravo all round”
Photo memories of the evening at Lichfield, November 2022.
Photographer: Frank Wood
It was a joyous performance in every sense with amazing playing from The Musical & Amicable Society orchestra on their baroque-style instruments, and fabulous soloists: Sofia Ticciati (soprano), James Laing (countertenor), Daniel Auchincloss (tenor), Ashley Riches (baritone) and Thomas Hobbs (as the Evangelist).
Next Spring we’re back in Lichfield Cathedral with J S Bach:
Saturday 9 March 2024
St Matthew Passion
Read the Reviews
...an evening of exhilaration, beauty and deep musical satisfaction. Add to this an outstanding period ensemble, first-class soloists and a full cathedral and you will understand why this listener was simply enthralled from start to finish.
Prof David Saint.
Click here to read more
The choir sang with clear diction, with enormous energy and at times with great emotion, especially in their moving rendition of the devotional a capella chorale Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier (I stand here beside your manger).
Paul Spicers love of Bach certainly shines through in this enthusiastic and well controlled performance and whilst it may signal a close to a 30 year passage of time, it’s clear that there is a special relationship to the area, its musicians and Birmingham itself. In all the occasion, setting, music and performances made it a perfect opening to the Christmas season.
Click here to read more BehindtheArras.com
Our sincere thanks to ....
Sunday 17 December
Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
St Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter
Saturday 9 March 7pm
St Matthew Passion
Saturday 27 April
Come & Sing!
Wylde Green URC Church B73 5SW