Serenade to Music – Ely Sinfonia and Ely Choral Society

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Serenade to Music – Ely Sinfonia and Ely Choral Society

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Date(s) - 08/07/2023
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Ely Cathedral
The Gallery,
CB7 4DL.

Event Description

Ely Sinfonia and Ely Choral Society present

Serenade to Music

in Ely Cathedral

Saturday 8th July 2023

at 7.30pm


Vaughan Williams           Greensleeves

Vaughan Williams           Serenade to Music

Beethoven                       8th Symphony

Chilcott                            Canticles of Light

Beethoven                       Choral Fantasia

with Natalia Williams-Wandoch piano

Steve Bingham and Andrew Parnell         conductors


Tickets £25, £20, £10 (£5 for U18s) available from Ely Cathedral Box Office

Ely Sinfonia, Ely Choral Society and Ely Youth Choir join together in a unique selection of music that makes the most of the magnificent space of Ely Cathedral.  Vaughan Williams, the English twentieth century master, stands next to Beethoven, the early romantic titan.  Between them is Bob Chilcott, one of the most prolific and celebrated choral composers of today.

What could be more different than Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves and his Serenade to Music, the first combining two traditional English songs and the second an exquisite piece written in 1938 to celebrate Henry Wood’s jubilee as a conductor?

Beethoven’s 8th Symphony is happy, bouncy, humorous and enigmatic, poking fun at convention from its start through to its triumphant ending.   Described as “one of the shortest, weirdest, but most compelling symphonies of the 19th century” (The Guardian), it certainly fulfils Beethoven’s promise in a letter to a friend that “music ought to strike fire from the soul of a man”.

Bob Chilcott’s gentle, prayerful Canticles of Light shows the influence of ancient plainchant, echoing Ely’s historic monastic worship.   Ely Youth Choir will add a direct link to those medieval days singing atmospheric quasi-plainsong melodies.

Finally, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia couldn’t be a more marked contrast to the other choral works of this concert.  We revisit the praise of music in an unashamedly ebullient fantasy for piano, chorus and orchestra.  It could be a sketch for the finale of Beethoven’s Choral (9th) Symphony preceded by a cadenza stolen from one of his piano concertos, played by virtuoso pianist Natalia Williams-Wandoch.

Tickets start at £10 and are available from Ely Cathedral Box Office (Tel 01353 660349), email or online from


Further information from


By kind permission of the Dean and Chapter                                                                        Registered charity 1161642


Event Contact Information

Website Address:
Contact Telephone Number: 01353 660349)

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