Sunday, 9 November 2014

Indigo Requiem

St. John's Church in Caversham held a special requiem service last night, marking remembrance weekend on the hundredth anniversary of the start of the Great War. Len David conducted his Indigo Requiem, with a combined choir from the Hurst Singers and from St John's. Liturgical sections were led by Revd. Colin Bass, and there was accompaniment from piano, saxophone, bass, percussion and trumpet (as well as the organ for the hymns).

Len has composed Indigo Requiem in a style of jazz which I associate with Gershwin - the respectable end of jazz you might say, but it still raises a smile to hear 'the devil's music' used in a context of formal Christian worship. Jazz has a flexibility of tone and mood which allowed it to move between the sadness of  loss and remembrance and the sure hope of resurrection without jarring ... in Len's hands, at least.

It was a fairly grim night weatherwise - and apparently there had been some firework throwing going on - so the congregation was disappointing; far less than the event deserved. Nevertheless musicians and choir (who were a soloist down through illness, I heard afterwards) did a marvellous job. St John's has wonderful acoustics when the singing is strong, and it was great to hear them ringing out. The sound of fireworks banging outside during the reading of the names of those from St. John's lost in the war was slightly surreal, but possibly appropriate, I guess.

From the programme notes:
The music of the requiem seeks to reflect something of the journey that we make as individuals through distress and dread in facing up to death, ending with a quiet acceptance of hope based on the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. As we reflect on our own mortality and remember our loved ones who have died, we are invited to offer our feelings to God and pray that after the service we go away knowing something of the saving power of Christ.
The requiem was being recorded, so I am hoping it will end up on YouTube or somewhere similar, in which case I will add a link to the top of this post.

No comments:

Post a Comment