Bath Cantata Group: St Stephen's Church
Bath Cantata Group
St Stephen's Church, Bath
Saturday marked the Bath Cantata Group's last performance with Edna Blackwell as their musical director after 35 years at the helm.
In the beautiful setting of St Stephen's Church, Lansdown, the diminutive and spirited Edna began the evening by conducting the group's rendition of Faure's Requiem. This included one of the evening's highlights, Sanctus played wonderfully by the orchestra's leader, Matthew Taylor.
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The second half began with a lovely rendition of Rossini's Qui Tollis from Petite Messe Solonnelle, via Handel's well known Let The Bright Seraphim.
Edna orchestrated a version of Liza Lehmann's In a Persian Garden to include long-serving orchestra members such as the string section, paying tribute to Matthew Taylor.
We were then treated to Handel's The Trumpet Shall Sound followed by the finale of Mozart's Missa Brevis where the four soloists excelled.
The evening's tribute to a memorable leader who was described as "generous, with a great sense of humour, understanding and hard working" mentioned that Edna had spent many hours posting musical scores out to the orchestra members, so much so that she was once accused by her local post office of being an 'eBay grandma'.
When Edna resigns from the BCG at the end of this summer, she will continue to teach, deputise with Bath's Pump Room Trio and accompany her small group Operaletta.
Edna said that for her next big birthday, when she turns 100, she will play Happy Birthday to herself in the Pump Rooms –a true inspiration and hard act to follow.