Our Protest concert explores the ways in which some composers or societies have used their art to fight against political or religious oppression.
African slaves on the cotton plantations in America took to singing work songs or spirituals, which were later to feed into jazz. Well-known tunes such as When the Saints and Deep River are both spirituals and songs of protest against oppression.
These, and others, form part of John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit, written for choir, piano and jazz clarinet.
Renaissance pieces in the programme come from composers who’d been ordered by the newly-formed Church of England to write in a very different way. Some obeyed the order of the monarch (it was either that or face the death penalty) whilst others rebelled, finding fascinating ways of protesting whilst keeping their head attached.
The choir will be joined by the Monington Duo: Karen Kingsley, piano, and Robert Blanken, clarinet.