The title of the programme is taken from Gustav Holst’s work of the same name, and refers more broadly to his intense interest, during the early years of the 20th century, in the ancient religious literature and poetry of India. During this period he penned several works for the combination of voices and harp, and three of them feature in this programme.
Holst’s pieces sit alongside choral works by his daughter, Imogen Holst, as well as by Joseph Rheinberger, Franz Schubert, Patrick Hadley and Fisher Tull. There are also items for solo voice with harp accompaniment by Schubert and Fauré, as well as harp solos and works for unaccompanied choir.
Louise Thomson has often performed with choirs in the past, especially for frequent performances of Britten’s famous Ceremony of Carols, for upper voices and harp. She looks forward now to working with the New Oxford Consort on a more regular basis, for this programme which showcases the wide array of excellent music (beyond Britten’s oft-heard festive work) that is available to this combination of forces.
The New Oxford Consort is an exciting young vocal ensemble, performing a wide variety of music across different styles and periods. The group draws its singers from a pool of young professionals in the early stages of their singing careers, and is directed by its founder Freddie Crowley, a recent graduate of Merton College, Oxford.
“Eastern Pictures” is now available for booking in future seasons.