Next concert

"I have loved flowers that fade..."

Inspiration or our next programme, which will take place in St Patrick's Parish Church, Cowgate, Edinburgh, on Saturday 11th November 2017 at 7.30pm is drawn from the Seven Poems of Robert Bridges (set for choir by Gerald Finzi, his Op 17) the second poem being "I have loved flowers that fade..."

By the age of 18 Gerald Finzi (1901-1956) had lost every male role model, including his father, his three brothers and his first composition teacher (Ernest Farrar, a Stanford pupil), for all of them died young, two in the final weeks of the First World War. these pieces date from between 1934 and 1937 They were not published as a set, although they can be performed as one.  

Herbert Howells (1892 - 1983) began his Requiem in 1932 , Howells noted that his son, Michael, (then aged six) had made his mark on the score (he added a note); three years later, Michael died of meningitis, an event that was to influence Howells for the rest of his life. The Requiem itself was not published until 1980.

The first reference to the Hymn to St Cecilia by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)   is from 1935, when Britten wrote in his diary "I’m having great difficulty in finding Latin words for a proposed Hymn to St Cecilia - spend morning hunting." The Hymn to St Cecilia (Op 27) was finished on Britten's voyage home from America to England, in 1942, it was first performed in 1942 on St. Cecilia's Day (November 22nd), Britten's twenty-ninth birthday.

Paweł Łukaszewski (b1968):  is a prolific Polish composer and choral conductor who credits his earlier compatriot Henryk Górecki (1933-2010) as an influence. Our programme will include Marian works by both composers Górecki's Totus Tuus Op. 60 and Łukaszewski's Ave Maria (1992).

Tickets available from Usher Hall Box Office. 

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Praise for St Andrew Camerata

What the audience said of our Faure concert (19 August 2017)
"I just wanted to tell you what a breathtakingly beautiful performance it was and in such a perfect setting. We really enjoyed the Requiem along with your sublime reading of the Cantique de Jean Racine."

What the audience said of our Ubi Caritas programme (April 2016)

“Ubi Caritas”, the concert by The St Andrew Camerata on Saturday night at St Patrick’s Edinburgh, was an absolute delight. The acoustics in St Patrick’s Church added power and depth to the voices, and programme held me spellbound. As ever, we were taken on a journey. On this occasion, from Venice, the Tudor Court and Spain - all in the 16thC, with one or two other stops enroute to 21st C Norway. Although from diverse eras and lands, there was a unity to the pieces which led the listener to a place of calm. Most of the pieces were unknown to me, but they were melodic and moving. The singing was an absolute joy to experience and I would thoroughly recommend this concert. Don’t miss it!

Audience praise for our 2015 Faure concerts

Last Saturday we were treated to a wonderful concert by local choir, the St. Andrew Camerata, conducted by Vincent Wallace. In the beautiful Old St. Paul's Church, candlelit and with a calming hint of ecclesiastical incense, a perfect atmosphere was created for Faure's Requiem. Vincent took us on a moving journey from death to paradise, lead by the exquisite voices of his choir and the two soloists, accompanied by orchestra and organ. It was a spellbinding evening, culminating in hope and joy "In Paradisum". Highly recommended.

An outstanding performance of some beautiful music. The surroundings and ambience were perfect and the voices divine. A real highlight of the fringe for me and I will be back to hear it again next year. 5* in my opinion.

Audience praise for our June 2015 concert

What thrilling performances we were treated to on Saturday! The works were mainly new to me and so I received a musical education of the highest level. To hear... the depth of the bass amid the five-voiced chorus of the elaborate Bach Motet was very special. Then came the effortless, superb soprano of Gillian Robertson in the exuberant "Exultate, Jubilate" by Mozart. The audience recognised this wonderful performance with a long ovation. Then we settled down to enjoy the Mass in B Flat by Hummel, which was full of harmony and melody and feeling. I particularly enjoyed the truly joyful "Gloria". These performances were enjoyed in the low light of Old St. Paul's Church which creates the perfect atmosphere for such music, which soars up to the roof without distortion. Don't miss the next performance from Vincent Wallace's The St Andrew Camerata.

5* Review :  Fauré Requiem Saturday 9 August 2014

"Faure's Requiem, composed in the late 1880s, is a short piece lasting 35 minutes, performed in Latin, and created for orchestra, organ, male and female chorus and two soloists, soprano and baritone. Tonight’s concert is one of the mainstays of the Fringe and has been captivating audiences for years - this year followed by Cantique de Jean Racine, one of Fauré’s earlier works.

Impressively, the many singers and instruments (including a harp and the church's own organ) all came through clearly, with nothing swamping anything else.

Having been leading his St Andrew Camerata through performances of Fauré's Requiem - intermittently - since 2006, it comes as no great surprise to see how confidently Vincent Wallace helms this performance. It is also good to see that time and repetition has not diminished his enthusiasm for the piece, nor for performing it: he leads con brio, expressing the music's ebbs and flows in his facial expressions and very mobile body language. This in turn galvanises the many singers and the small ensemble of nine musicians, all of whom served to make this a delightful evening.

The church's acoustics also help this, gelling the voices and instruments so that they sound appropriately divine. Special mention should go to the soprano, whose rendition of the aria Pie Jesu was goose-pimply good. The church's interior is charming, set off - on this night - by a host of candles, of varying sizes, all flickering gently along to the music. While the "stage" lights somewhat diminished this effect, it was certainly an evocative (and non-gimmicky) addition to the music's own charms.

Impressively, the many singers and instruments (including a harp and the church's own organ) all came through clearly, with nothing swamping anything else. I'd guess this to be - again - a consideration of Wallace's; if so, kudos to him for managing to ensure such a harmonious and dynamically satisfying performance and, of course, to the singers and musicians, for aiding in this endeavour.

It's a pleasure to hear instruments and voices totally acoustically, especially in such acoustically satisfying surroundings. Add to this the choice of music and the "by candlelight" staging and you can easily see why this has been such a consistently successful concert, both in terms of content and size of audience."