Nothing quite beats the enchanted sounds of a choir, and when you combine that with the idyllic setting of Christchurch Priory with its phenomenal spectrum of acoustics the result you get is an hour of Sunday afternoon perfection.
Direct from Norway and making their first tour to the UK in 10 years, Sølvguttene (The Silver Boys) included Christchurch as part of their limited tour which started in Romsey and will also include Sherborne (Monday 30 September) before concluding in London, St James, Piccadilly, this coming Thursday, 3 October 2019. As an added bonus we were also treated to the choir being joined by a small number of choristers from the Christchurch Priory Choir in their own striking red robes for the beginning and end of a packed repertoire.
Founded in 1940 and dressed in their traditional black trousers with white top and a blue neckerchief, the Sølvguttene Boys Choir has become enshrined into Norway’s heritage where Norwegian television run a traditional Christmas Eve concert each year. The choir traditionally perform classical sacred music along with some traditional Norwegian folk music.
Conducted by singer and director Frikk Heide-Steen and accompanied by Otto Christian Odland, Organist, the hour long concert sung in both English and Norwegian started off with ‘Laudate’ by Knut Nystedt before including other well know songs including ‘Pie Jesu’ by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, ‘Thine is the Glory’ from Judas Maccabaeus (Georg F Handel) and an angelic soprano rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ (Franz Schubert). One of the closing numbers was the ever popular ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from ‘Messiah’, again from Georg F Handel.
You could tell that the audience was transfixed by this concert, what is even more amazing is that it was a free concert though there was a retiring collection to help aide the upkeep of the Priory and its music.
If ever you get the chance to see the Sølvguttene then make sure you do, you will not be disappointed. More locally the Christchurch Priory does have a number of musical concerts and recitals throughout the year so check out their website here for more details.
Reviewed by Brian Case @bhlivingdorset September 2019