They Shall Not Grow Old, Armonico Consort and Timothy West, Yeovil Octagon

THE Armonico Consort brought Armistice Day 2018 to a close at in Yeovil with a con­cert of cont­em­plative music interspersed by readings chosen and perfor­med by Timothy West.

Directed by Christopher Monks, the popular Consort will be starting its own youth choir at the Octagon in 2019.

Music on the day that marked the centenary of the end of the First World War included a vocal setting of Elgar’s Nimrod, Allegri’s exposed Miserere Mei, Samuel Barber’s Adagio and works by  Hildegarde of Bingen, Lotti, de Victoria, Tav­ener, Carissimi and Christo­pher Monks’s The Spirit of Tallis. Doug­las Guest’s setting of Lau­r­ence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen began and ended the concert.

Octogenarian actor Timothy West chose unfamiliar readings that highlighted the camaraderie, subtle kindness, desperation and chilling jingoism of “the war to end all wars” subverting the order of the readings so that the passage about the Armistice continued into other texts, rather than ending the evening – a commemoration but also a warning …..


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