Marcus Farnsworth conducts Southwell Festival Voices

Time to start unwrapping your virtual presents…

Welcome to the Southwell Micro Midwinter Music Festival Online.  For those who attended the inaugural Festival back in August we trust this will be an enjoyable feast of musical reminiscence; for newcomers we hope these tasty morsels will encourage you to visit when the second Festival rolls around between 27 and 31 August 2015.

Today we publish the first of our twelve musical gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Each of the videos is between 1.5 and 3.5 minutes in length and together they cover a wide range of performances at the 2014 Festival.

At this point we must credit sound engineer and producer Alex Barnes (he’s also a professional cellist) and his camera man Matthew Dove.  Between them they recorded nearly every note sounded during the 2014 Festival – and more besides.  Without that herculean effort we could not present this musical smorgasbord.  To enjoy the quality of performances and recording we recommend listening through headphones.

We begin in seasonal mood with the mediaeval carol Adam lay ybounden – not the familiar setting by Boris Ord but a haunting contemporary anthem by the organist and composer Matthew Martin.

The performance, given by the Southwell Festival Voices conducted by Marcus Farnsworth, was part of Light out of Darkness – the late night choral concert by candlelight in the Quire at Southwell Minster on the evening of Friday 22 August.

One audience member said: “What made the festival memorable for me was the emotional charge in Light out of Darkness.

If you would like to comment on our 12 Days of Christmas celebration or on the Southwell Music Festival in general please email or join the conversation on Twitter.

Please join us for the Festival’s London concert on Tuesday 3rd February and find out about the 2015 Festival programme when it is launched at Southwell Minster on Friday 13th March.  Details are in the Christmas newsletter.

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